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IPR Enforcement Actions on Rubber Resins, Digital Media Products, Portable Electronics

Friday, September 13, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Trade Secret Violation by Rubber Resins. The International Trade Commission has determined to review in its entirety the final initial determination that the importation, sale for importation and sale within the U.S. after importation of certain rubber resins and processes for manufacturing same are violating Section 337 of the 1930 Tariff Act by reason of misappropriation of trade secrets owned by SI Group Inc.

As part of this process the ITC is accepting comments through Sept. 23 on the form of remedy, if any, that should be ordered in this investigation (i.e., an exclusion order and/or cease and desist orders); the effect of any such remedy on the public health and welfare, competitive conditions in the U.S. economy, U.S. production of articles that are like or directly competitive with those that are subject to investigation, and U.S. consumers; and the amount of the bond under which subject goods could enter the U.S. during the 60-day period the president has to review any ITC-ordered remedy.

A press release from the attorneys representing SI Group states that the ALJ found that “the

respondents had access to and misappropriated SI Group trade secrets to develop four of their own competing resins, actively tried to conceal their activities, and were likely to circumvent a limited exclusion order through their convoluted corporate structure.” Based on these and other factors, the press release adds, the ALJ has recommended the issuance of 10-year general exclusion order.

Google Intervenes in Digital Media Device Probe. In patent infringement investigation 337-TA-882 of certain digital media devices, including televisions, Blu-ray disc players, home theater systems, tablets and mobile phones, components thereof and associated software, the International Trade Commission has upheld a decision by the presiding administrative law judge to grant intervenor status to Google Inc. The ALJ found that Google has an interest in protecting its products from the allegations presented in the claim charts of complainant Black Hills Media LLC (which rely on the functionality of Google’s software as incorporated into the respondents’ products), that the disposition of this investigation may as a practical matter impair Google’s ability to protect that interest (e.g., by prohibiting the importation and sale of products utilizing its software), and that the respondents may not adequately represent Google’s interest. The ALJ also found that the investigation is in the early stages of discovery so Google’s intervention would not cause undue delay or prejudice the original parties’ rights.

Portable Electronic Device Investigation Expanded. The International Trade Commission has upheld a decision to amend patent infringement investigation 337-TA-885 of certain portable electronic communications devices, including mobile phones and components thereof, by adding an additional patent as well as recently launched domestic industry products. The complainants are Nokia Corporation and Nokia Inc. and the respondents are located in Taiwan and the U.S.

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