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IPR Enforcement: Electrical Ribbon Cables, Microfluidic Devices

Friday, August 04, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Electrical Ribbon Cables. The International Trade Commission has instituted investigation 337-TA-1064 to determine whether imports of shielded electrical ribbon cables and products containing the same are violating Section 337 of the 1930 Tariff Act by reason of patent infringement. The products at issue are cables that can effectively transmit electromagnetic signals at high speeds and products containing those cables, such as data servers.

Complainants 3M Company and 3M Innovative Properties Company request that after this investigation the ITC issue a general exclusion order (or, alternatively, 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 China, Taiwan, and the U.S.

Microfluidic Devices. The ITC received July 31 on behalf of Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. and Lawrence Livermore National Security LLC a petition requesting that it institute a Section 337 investigation regarding microfluidic devices. The proposed respondent is located in the U.S.

The ITC is requesting comments no later than Aug. 14 on any public interest issues raised by this complaint. Comments should address whether the issuance of the limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders requested by the complainant 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 complainant, its licensees, or third parties make in the U.S. that could replace the subject articles if they were to be excluded;

- indicate whether the complainant, its 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.

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