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IPR Enforcement: Set-Top Boxes, Steel Products

Wednesday, March 01, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Set-Top Boxes. The International Trade Commission has instituted investigation 337-TA-1041 to determine whether imports of digital television set-top boxes, remote control devices, and components thereof are violating Section 337 of the 1930 Tariff Act by reason of patent infringement. The products at issue include set-top boxes and voice-enabled remote control devices used to make watching and using TV systems, including interactive TV systems, easier and more efficient.

Complainants OpenTV Inc., Nagra USA Inc., Nagravision SA, and Kudelski SA request that after this investigation the ITC issue 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 England, China, and the U.S.

Steel Products. In investigation 337-TA-1002 of carbon and alloy steel products, the ITC has determined to reverse an initial determination terminating complainant U.S. Steel Corporation’s false designation of origin claim and to remand this investigation to the presiding administrative law judge for further proceedings.

The ITC launched this investigation to determine whether subject imports are violating section 337 of the 1930 Tariff Act through (1) a conspiracy to fix prices and control output and export volumes, (2) the misappropriation and use of trade secrets owned by U.S. Steel, and (3) the false designation of origin or manufacturer to circumvent tariffs. U.S. Steel has requested that after this investigation the ITC issue exclusion orders, which would prohibit infringing steel products from entering the U.S., and cease and desist orders, which among other things would prevent the sale of infringing imported articles out of U.S. inventory. The notice of investigation identified 40 respondents that are Chinese steel manufacturers or distributors, as well as some of their Hong Kong and U.S. affiliates.

U.S. Steel recently withdrew its trade secrets theft claim but said it would proceed with the other two claims even though the ITC has moved to dismiss them.

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