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IPR Enforcement: Quartz Slabs, Breathing Systems, Hybrid Vehicles, Cinema Systems, Desk Platforms

Thursday, April 21, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Potential IPR Probes Evaluated for Public Interest Issues. The International Trade Commission is requesting comments no later than April 29 on any public interest issues raised by complaints alleging that the importation, sale for importation and sale within the U.S. after importation of the following products are violating Section 337 of the 1930 Tariff Act.

- quartz slabs and portions thereof (complainant Cambria Company LLC; respondents located in the U.S.)

- sleep-disordered breathing treatment systems and components thereof (complainants ResMed Corp., ResMed Inc. and ResMed Ltd.; respondents located in China and the U.S.)

- hybrid electric vehicles and components thereof (complainants Paice LLC and Abell Foundation Inc.; respondents located in Germany and the U.S.)

Comments should address whether the issuance of the exclusion orders and/or cease and desist orders requested by the complainants 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 complainants, their licensees or third parties make in the U.S. that could replace the subject articles if they were to be excluded;

- indicate whether the complainants, their 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.

3-D Cinema Systems. The ITC has extended to June 1 the target date for completing patent infringement investigation 337-TA-939 of three-dimensional cinema systems and components thereof. The ITC has previously found that the importation, sale for importation and sale within the U.S. after importation of these goods are violating patents asserted by complainant RealID Inc. and is considering a recommendation to issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders against the respondents. However, the ITC is extending this investigation to consider the impact of an April 14 decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that some of the patent claims at issue are unpatentable. 

Desk Platforms. The ITC has instituted investigation 337-TA-992 to determine whether imports of height-adjustable desk platforms and components thereof are violating Section 337 of the 1930 Tariff Act by reason of patent infringement. The products at issue are designed to allow users to work while standing rather than sitting by securely positioning their work surfaces at different heights.

Complainant Varidesk LLC requests that after this investigation the ITC issue a limited exclusion order, which would direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to prohibit the entry of 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 the U.S.

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