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IPR Enforcement: Three Petitions Filed, New Outdoor Grill Probe, ALJ Named

Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

New Petitions on Navigation Products, Driver Assistance Cameras, Sonar Imaging Devices. The International Trade Commission has received petitions requesting that it institute separate Section 337 investigations regarding the following products.

- navigation products, including GPS devices, navigation and display systems, radar systems, navigational aids, mapping systems and related software (complainant Furuno Electric Co. Ltd. and Furuno USA Inc.; respondents located in Norway, the United Kingdom and the U.S.)

- vision-based driver assistance system cameras and components thereof (complainant TRW Automotive US LLC; respondent located in the U.S.)

- marine sonar imaging devices, products containing the same and components thereof (complainant Navico Inc. and Navico Holding AS; respondents located in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong 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.

Patent Infringement Investigation Launched on Outdoor Grills. The International Trade Commission has instituted investigation 337-TA-895 to determine whether imports of certain multiple mode outdoor grills and parts thereof are violating Section 337 of the 1930 Tariff Act by reason of patent infringement. The products at issue enable a user to cook food using either a gas-based fuel or a solid fuel such as charcoal or wood, or to use both modes simultaneously.

Complainants A&J Manufacturing LLC and A&J Manufacturing Inc. request that after this investigation the ITC issue a general exclusion order, which would direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to prohibit the entry of the infringing products into the U.S., and cease and desist orders, which would require the named respondents to cease actions that violate Section 337, including selling infringing imported articles out of U.S. inventory. The respondents in this investigation are located in China and the U.S.

New ALJ Named. The ITC announced Sept. 23 that Sandra (Dee) Lord has joined the Commission as an administrative law judge. In this position she will manage litigation, preside over evidentiary hearings and make initial determinations in investigations involving unfair practices in import trade, such as patent and trademark infringement.

Prior to joining the ITC, Lord served as an ALJ with the Social Security Administration's Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. During her career she has also served as a special master in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims’ Office of Special Masters, as a trial attorney in the Commercial Litigation Branch/Fraud Section in the Department of Justice’s Civil Division, and in legal counsel positions with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Department of Labor.

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