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Further Remedial Action Under Consideration for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The International Trade Commission is inviting written submissions no later than Aug. 16 on whether it should take further remedial action in patent infringement investigation 337-TA-739 of certain ground fault circuit interrupters and products containing same.

The ITC issued a general exclusion order and cease and desist orders in this investigation in April 2012, but several months later complainant Leviton Manufacturing Co. Inc. alleged that these orders were being violated. The respondents accused of violating the GEO were subsequently found to be in default and the others settled. Leviton then asked the ITC to issue a cease and desist order against one of the defaulting respondents and seizure and forfeiture orders against GFCIs imported or sold by all three respondents.

The presiding administrative law judge, however, has only recommended the issuance of a cease and desist order prohibiting the one respondent from selling or distributing infringing articles in the U.S. after inferring from this respondent’s refusal to participate in the enforcement proceeding that it has commercially significant inventories of such goods. The ALJ declined to recommend seizure and forfeiture orders after determining that Leviton failed to show evidence that infringing articles were previously denied entry.

The ITC is now soliciting comments on the form of remedy it should order in this enforcement proceeding (i.e., a new or modified cease and desist order and/or exclusion order or a seizure and forfeiture order) as well as the effects 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.

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