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IPR Enforcement: Petition on Handheld Magnifiers, Potential Probe of Navigation Products

Monday, September 30, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

New Petition on Handheld Magnifiers. The International Trade Commission received Sept. 26 on behalf of Freedom Scientific Inc. a petition requesting that it institute a Section 337 investigation regarding certain handheld magnifiers and products containing same. The proposed respondents are located in China and the U.S.

Section 337 investigations primarily involve claims regarding intellectual property rights violations by imported goods, including the infringement of patents, trademarks and copyrights. Other forms of unfair competition involving imported products, such as misappropriation of trade secrets or trade dress and false advertising, may also be asserted. The primary remedy available in Section 337 investigations is an exclusion order that directs U.S. Customs and Border Protection to stop infringing imports from entering the U.S. In addition, the ITC may issue cease and desist orders against named importers and other persons engaged in unfair acts that violate Section 337, including selling infringing imported articles out of U.S. inventory.

Potential IPR Probe of Navigation Products Evaluated for Public Interest Issues. The International Trade Commission is requesting comments no later than Oct. 8 on any public interest issues raised by a Section 337 intellectual property rights infringement complaint filed on behalf of Furuno Electric Co. Ltd. and Furuno U.S.A. Inc. against certain navigation products, including GPS devices, navigation and display systems, radar systems, navigational aids, mapping systems and related software. Comments should address whether the issuance of exclusion orders and/or cease and desist orders pursuant to this complaint would affect the public health and welfare in the U.S., competitive conditions in the U.S. economy, the production of like or directly competitive articles in the U.S., or U.S. consumers. In particular, the ITC is interested in comments that:

- explain how the articles potentially subject to the orders are used in the U.S.;

- identify any public health, safety or welfare concerns in the U.S. relating to the potential orders;

- identify like or directly competitive articles that the complainant, its licensees or third parties make in the U.S. that could replace the subject articles if they were to be excluded;

- indicate whether the complainant, its licensees and/or third-party suppliers have the capacity to replace the volume of articles potentially subject to the requested orders within a commercially reasonable time; and

- explain how the requested orders would impact U.S. consumers.

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