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IPR Enforcement: Windshield Wipers, Mobile Phones, Tablets

Thursday, October 24, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

New IPR Infringement Petition on Windshield Wipers. The International Trade Commission received Oct. 21 on behalf of Trico Products Corporation a petition requesting that it institute a Section 337 investigation regarding certain windshield wipers and components thereof. The proposed respondents are located in Belgium and the U.S.

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.

Import Restrictions Under Consideration for Mobile Phones and Tablets. In patent infringement investigation 337-TA-847 of certain electronic devices, including mobile phones and tablet computers, and components thereof, the International Trade Commission’s presiding administrative law judge has recommended the issuance of a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order against respondents and their related entities with respect to two patents. The ITC is inviting comments no later than Nov. 13 on whether the recommended orders 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 recommended orders are used in the U.S.;

- identify any public health, safety or welfare concerns in the U.S. relating to the recommended 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 recommended orders within a commercially reasonable time; and

- explain how the recommended orders would impact U.S. consumers.

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