By Eric SchweibenzOn January 17, 2013, the International Trade Commission (the “Commission”) issued a notice in Certain LED Photographic Lighting Devices and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-804). In the notice, the Commission found a violation of Section 337 and issued a general exclusion order (“GEO”) prohibiting importation of infringing LED photographic lighting devices and components thereof.
By way of background, the Commission instituted this investigation on September 7, 2011 based on a complaint filed by Litepanels, Inc. and Litepanels, Ltd. (collectively, “Litepanels”) alleging a violation of Section 337 by a number of respondents for the importation into the U.S. and sale of certain LED photographic lighting devices and components thereof. Litepanels alleged that the Respondents violated Section 337 with respect to U.S. Patent Nos. 7,429,117 (terminated from investigation); 7,510,290 (terminated from investigation); 7,972,022 (the ‘022 patent); 7,318,652 (the ‘652 patent); and 6,948,823 (the ‘823 patent). See our September 3, 2011 post for more details on this investigation. On September 7, 2012, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued the initial determination (“ID”) finding that that there has been a violation of Section 337 by the remaining Respondents in this investigation with respect to certain claims of the ‘022 patent; certain claims of the ‘652 patent; and claim 19 of the ‘823 patent. ALJ Essex also determined that no violation of Section 337 occurred by the remaining Respondents with respect to claims 17 and 28 of the ‘823 patent. See our September 13, 2012 post for more details on the ID. On November 13, 2012, the Commission determined to review in part the ID. See our November 15, 2012 post for more details on the scope of the Commission’s review.
According to the January 17, 2013 notice, the Commission has determined that there is a violation of Section 337 with respect to the ‘022 and ‘652 patents. The Commission also determined to reverse the ALJ’s finding of a violation based on the ‘823 patent because the only claim of the ‘823 patent that Litepanels alleged is practiced by the domestic industry products (i.e., claim 17) was found to be invalid. In addition, the Commission determined to reverse the ALJ and find that the preambles of the asserted patents are limitations and should be construed based on their plain and ordinary meaning. The details of the Commission’s decision, including certain modifications of the ALJ’s findings in the ID are explained in a forthcoming Commission opinion.
Regarding the appropriate remedy to be issued in this investigation, the Commission issued a GEO prohibiting from entry LED photographic lighting devices and components thereof that infringe certain claims of the ‘022 and ‘652 patents. The Commission also noted that the public interest factors do not preclude issuance of the GEO. Finally, the Commission determined that a bond in the amount of 43% of the entered value is required to permit temporary importation during the Presidential review period.