By Eric Schweibenz and Michael West
On October 2, 2018, Chief ALJ Charles E. Bullock issued Order No. 24 in Certain Carburetors and Products Containing Such Carburetors (Inv. No. 337-TA-1123).

By way of background, this investigation is based on a June 12, 2018 complaint filed by Walbro, LLC (“Walbro” or “Complainant”) of Tucson Arizona alleging violation of Section 337 by way of unlawful importation into the U.S., selling for importation, and/or selling within the U.S. after importation of certain carburetors and products containing same that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,394,424; 6,439,547; 6,533,254; 6,540,212; and 7,070,173. See our June 12, 2018 post for more details on the complaint.

According to the Order, on September 19, 2018, Complainant moved for leave to conduct the first settlement meeting by video-conferencing or teleconferencing. Only two Respondents opposed the motion on October 1, 2018. Accordingly, all other Respondents did not oppose the motion. Further, the Commission Investigative Staff (“OUII”) did not oppose the motion. On September 28, 2018, the parties filed the Joint Report of First Settlement Conferences thus rendering Walbro’s motion moot despite the fact that such motion was still pending before ALJ Bullock.

ALJ Bullock determined that Walbro’s behavior directly violated Order No. 6, which specifically stated that “[u]nless the parties obtain the permission of the [ALJ], for good cause shown, the settlement meetings should not occur by video-conferencing or by teleconferencing”. Accordingly, ALJ Bullock determined that Walbro is not permitted to conduct any of the second settlement conferences by video-conferences or teleconferences. Instead, the second settlement conferences must be conducted in person.