By Eric Schweibenz
On July 19, 2012, the International Trade Commission (the “Commission”) issued a notice determining to review in part an Initial Determination (“ID”) issued by ALJ Theodore R. Essex on June 7, 2012 granting in part Complainant Lutron Electronics Co., Inc’s (“Lutron”) motion for summary determination of violation of Section 337 in Certain Lighting Control Devices Including Dimmer Switches and Parts Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-776). 

By way of background, the investigation is based on a May 16, 2011 complaint filed by Lutron alleging violation of Section 337 in the importation into the U.S. and sale of certain lighting control devices including dimmer switches and parts thereof that infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 5,248,919 (“the ‘919 patent”) and 5,637,930 (“the ‘930 patent”).  The Commission’s notice of investigation named ten separate respondents.  See our June 13, 2011 post for more details.  According to the July 19 notice, two of the respondents were terminated from the investigation based on consent orders, while the remaining respondents were found in default. 

On January 20, 2012, “Lutron filed a motion for summary determination of violation of Section 337 pursuant to Commission rule 210.16(c)(2) and requested entry of a general exclusion order with respect to the ‘930 patent.  Lutron also requested entry of a limited exclusion order with respect to the ‘919 patent directed against the accused products of all defaulting respondents.  Lutron further requested cease and desist orders with respect to both asserted patents against all defaulting respondents,” expect for Respondent Westgate Manufacturing, Inc. 

On June 7, 2012, ALJ Essex issued Order No. 18 granting in part Lutron’s motion for summary determination.  In particular, the ALJ found that Lutron satisfied the domestic industry requirement, that all defaulting respondents met the importation requirement, and that each of the defaulting respondents’ accused products infringed at least one claim of both asserted patents.  As to remedy, the ALJ recommended that a limited exclusion order issue with respect to all defaulting respondents for the asserted claims of both patents, and that cease and desist orders issue against three of the defaulting respondents.  As to bonding, ALJ Essex recommended a bond of 100 percent of the entered value of the covered products. 

After examining the record of the investigation, including the subject ID of June 7, 2012, the Commission determined to vacate all portions of the ID relating to the ‘919 patent as moot because the patent expired on March 31, 2012, thereby terminating the Commission’s jurisdiction under 19 U.S.C. § 1337(a)(1)(B)(i).  The Commission determined not to review the remainder of the ID.      

The notice requests briefing on remedy, the public interest, and bonding.  Written submissions are due by August 2, 2012, with reply submissions due by August 9, 2012.