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IPR Import Restrictions Sought on Industrial Automation Systems

Monday, September 11, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The International Trade Commission received Sept. 6 on behalf of Rockwell Automation Inc. a petition requesting that it institute a Section 337 investigation regarding industrial automation systems and components thereof, including control systems, controllers, visualization hardware, motion and motor control systems, networking equipment, safety devices, and power supplies. The proposed respondents are located in China and Hong Kong.

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.

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