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IPR Enforcement Actions on Dimmable Lamps, Semiconductor Chips

Wednesday, April 24, 2013
By Shawn McCausland
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Possible Violation of Consent Order on Dimmable Lamps. The International Trade Commission is investigating the possible violation of a July 2012 consent order prohibiting the importation of dimmable compact fluorescent lamps and products containing same that infringe certain patents owned by Andrzej Bobel and Neptun Light Inc. The respondent has asked for a modification of that consent order on the basis of a court decision that dimmable CFLs the company purchased from a certain third party are subject to a covenant not to sue and thus do not infringe one of the patents at issue. The complainants subsequently requested that the ITC institute a formal enforcement proceeding to determine if the respondent is in violation of the consent order. The ITC has therefore launched consolidated proceedings to determine if there has been a violation, what if any enforcement measures are appropriate and whether the consent order should be modified.

Import Restrictions Proposed on Semiconductor Chips. In patent infringement investigation 337-TA-819 of certain semiconductor chips with DRAM circuitry and modules and products containing same, the presiding administrative law judge has recommended the issuance of a limited exclusion order barring the entry of unlicensed DRAM semiconductor chips manufactured by Nanya Technology Corporation of Taiwan or Nanya Technology Corporation of California that infringe certain patents owned by Elpida Memory Inc. of Japan and Elpida Memory (USA) Inc. of California. The ITC is therefore requesting no later than May 3 comments on whether the issuance of an LEO 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 LEO are used in the U.S.;

- identify any public health, safety or welfare concerns in the U.S. relating to the LEO;

- identify like or directly competitive articles that the complainants, their licensees or third parties make in the U.S. that could replace the subject articles if they were to be excluded;

- indicate whether the complainants, their licensees and/or third-party suppliers have the capacity to replace the volume of articles potentially subject to the LEO and/or a cease and desist

order within a commercially reasonable time; and

- explain how the LEO would affect consumers in the U.S.

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