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IPR Infringement Probe that Examined Role of Data Transmission Settled

Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The International Trade Commission has terminated on the basis of a settlement agreement investigation 337-TA-562 of certain incremental dental positioning adjustment appliances and methods of producing same. This investigation was initiated after complainant Align Technology Inc. claimed that the importation, sale for importation and sale within the U.S. after importation of these items were violating Section 337 of the 1930 Tariff Act by reason of infringement of certain patents and misappropriation of trade secrets.

In November 2006 the ITC granted a joint motion of the complainant and the respondents to terminate this investigation based on a consent order. Years later Align alleged that the successors and bound officers of the original respondents had violated this consent order by continuing to engage in prohibited activities with respect to digital datasets used to manufacture dental appliances. The presiding administrative law judge agreed after ruling that these datasets fall within the scope of the term “articles” in the consent order. The ITC reversed that decision, stating that the consent order did not contain an express provision prohibiting the electronic transmission of data, but was subsequently overruled by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Upon remand from the CAFC the ITC moved to resume the enforcement proceeding, but shortly thereafter Align and the respondents filed a joint motion to terminate it on the basis of an agreement between them.

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