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IPR Enforcement: Processing Chips, Storage Tapes, Ink Cartridges, Skin Care Devices, Steel

Wednesday, June 01, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

New Petitions Filed. The International Trade Commission has received petitions requesting that it institute separate Section 337 investigations regarding the following products.

- silicon-on-insulator wafers (filed May 26 on behalf of Silicon Genesis Corporation; respondent located in France)

- magnetic data storage tapes and cartridges containing same (filed May 27; respondents located in Japan 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.

Ink Cartridges. In patent infringement investigation 337-TA-946 of ink cartridges and components thereof, the ITC has issued (1) a general exclusion order prohibiting the unlicensed importation of subject goods covered by one or more of specified patent claims asserted by Epson Portland Inc., Epson America Inc, and Seiko Epson Corporation and (2) cease and denial orders directed against two respondents. The ITC has also determined that a bond in the amount of 100 percent of the entered value is required to permit imports of infringing goods during the 60-day period the president has to review the ITC’s remedy.

Electric Skin Care Devices. In patent and trade dress infringement investigation 337-TA-959 of electric skin care devices, brushes and chargers therefor, and kits containing the same, the ITC has determined to review the initial determination’s findings on the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement as to the patent-based allegations as well as all issues related to violation of the asserted trade dress.

The ITC is also seeking comments by June 9 on (a) the form of remedy, if any, that should be ordered; (b) 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; and (c) the amount of the bond under which infringing articles could continue to enter the U.S. during the 60-day period the president has to review any ITC-ordered remedy.

Carbon and Alloy Steel Products. The ITC has voted to institute investigation 33-TA-1002 to determine whether imports of carbon and alloy steel products from China are violating section 337 of the 1930 Tariff Act through (1) a conspiracy to fix prices and control output and export volumes, (2) the misappropriation and use of trade secrets owned by complainant U.S. Steel Corporation, and (3) the false designation of origin or manufacturer. The complainant requests that after this investigation the ITC issue a general exclusion order, a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders against the respondents, which are located in China, Hong Kong and the U.S.

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