By Eric Schweibenz
On June 29, 2012, the International Trade Commission (the “Commission”) issued a notice determining to review in part an Initial Determination (“ID”) issued by Chief ALJ Charles E. Bullock on May 31, 2012 finding Respondents in default for failing to respond to the complaint and notice of investigation in Certain Ink Application Devices and Components Thereof and Methods of Using The Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-832).

By way of background, the investigation is based on a January 13, 2012 complaint filed by MT.Derm GmbH of Germany and Nouveau Cosmetique USA Inc. of Orlando, Florida alleging violation of Section 337 in the importation into the U.S. and sale of certain ink application devices and components thereof that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,345,553 and 6,505,530.  The named Respondents are T-Tech Tattoo Device Inc. (“T-Tech”), Yiwu Beyond Tattoo Equipments Co., Ltd. (“Yiwu”), and Guangzhou Pengcheng Cosmetology Firm (“Guangzhou”).  See our February 1, 2012 post for more details.

According to the notice, on April 16, 2012, Complainants filed a motion with the ALJ seeking a default determination against T-Tech, Yiwu, and Guangzhou for their failure to respond to the complaint and the notice of investigation.  On May 1, 2012, ALJ Bullock issued an order requesting Respondents to show cause as to why they should not be found in default.  No responses were received and, on May 31, 2012, the ALJ granted Complainants motion for default.  In response to the ID, T-Tech submitted a letter to the Commission arguing that the default finding against it should be reviewed because it never received any correspondence from the Commission.  Upon further investigation into T-Tech’s allegations, the Commission Investigative Attorney learned that the complaint and notice of investigation were incorrectly addressed and never received by T-Tech.  Under Commission Rule 210.11(a), the Commission must serve copies of the complaint and notice of investigation on all proposed respondents named in the complaint.     

After considering the arguments, the Commission determined to reverse the finding of default against T-Tech and to re-serve T-Tech pursuant to Rule 210.11(a).  The Commission also determined not to review the ALJ’s findings with respect to Yiwu and Guangzhou. 

Lastly, the notice requests briefing on remedy, the public interest, and bonding in connection with Yiwu and Guangzhou.  Written submissions are due by July 13, 2012, with reply submissions due by July 20, 2012.