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IPR Enforcement: Automation Systems, Lasers, Pool Enclosures, Audio Systems

Thursday, September 14, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Industrial Automation Systems. The International Trade Commission is requesting comments no later than Sept. 20 on any public interest issues raised by a complaint filed on behalf of Rockwell Automation Inc. alleging that the importation, sale for importation, and sale within the U.S. after importation of industrial automation systems and components thereof, including control systems, controllers, visualization hardware, motion and motor control systems, networking equipment, safety devices, and power supplies, are violating Section 337 of the 1930 Tariff Act. Comments should address whether the issuance of the general 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.

New Investigations. The ITC has instituted the following investigations to determine whether imports of the products indicated are violating Section 337 of the 1930 Tariff Act.

- periodontal laser devices used in procedures to promote periodontal tissue regeneration (false advertising claim by Millennium Dental Technologies Inc.; respondents located in Slovenia and the U.S.)

- telescoping enclosures for outdoor pools and spas (patent infringement claim by Aqua Shield Inc.; respondents located in the Czech Republic Slovakia, and the U.S.)

- wireless audio systems and components thereof (e.g., speakers, sound bars, receivers, amplifiers, adapters) typically used to wirelessly stream music or other audio from a device such as a smartphone or laptop (patent infringement claim by Broadcom Limited and Avago Technologies General IP (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.; respondents located in Canada and the U.S.)

In each case the complainant requests that after the investigation the ITC issue an exclusion order, which would direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to prohibit the entry of infringing products into the U.S., and/or 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.

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