Advisory Opinions
By Eric Schweibenz and John Presper
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Oct
18
On October 14, 2016, the International Trade Commission (“the Commission”) issued an advisory opinion in Certain Stainless Steel Products, Certain Processes for Manufacturing or Relating to Same, and Certain Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-933).

By way of background, this investigation is based on a complaint filed by Valbruna Slater Stainless, Inc., Valbruna Stainless Inc., and Acciaierie Valbruna S.p.A. (collectively, “Valbruna”) alleging violation of Section 337 in the importation into the U.S. and sale of certain stainless steel products manufactured using Valbruna’s allegedly stolen trade secrets.  See our September 8, 2014 and October 9, 2014 posts for more details on the complaint and Notice of Investigation, respectively.
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By Eric Schweibenz and Christopher Ricciuti
|
Aug
15
On August 11, 2014, the U.S. International Trade Commission (the "Commission") issued the public version of an advisory opinion ("AO") adopting-in-part and reversing-in-part ALJ Gildea's Initial Advisory Opinion ("IAO") in Certain Sleep-Disordered Breathing Treatment Systems and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-879). The Commission also reversed the ALJ's determination to place the burden of proof in this Advisory Opinion Proceeding ("AOP") on the patent owner in view of Medtronic, Inc. v. Mirowski Family Ventures, LLC, 134 S. Ct. 843 (2014), and instead placed the burden on Respondents Apex Medical Corp. and Apex Medical USA Corp. (collectively, "Apex").

By way of background, this AOP was initiated by Apex.  Apex sought an advisory opinion in order to confirm that their redesigned sleep-disordered breathing treatment systems are not covered by the consent order previously entered into by Apex. See our December 16, 2013 post for more details on the ITC's decision to institute this advisory opinion proceeding.  Complainants ResMed Corp. of San Diego, California, ResMed Inc. of San Diego, California, and ResMed Ltd. of Australia (collectively, "ResMed") and the Commission Investigative Staff participated in the AOP.
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By John Presper
|
Feb
14
On February 5, 2014, the ITC issued an order and notice instituting an advisory opinion proceeding in Certain Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-739).

By way of background, the original investigation was based on an October 8, 2010 complaint filed by Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc. (“Leviton”) alleging violations of section 337 in the importation and/or sale of certain ground fault circuit interrupters (“GFCIs”) that infringe, among other patents, U.S. Patent No. 7,737,809 (“the ‘809 patent”).  The ITC issued cease and desist orders against numerous defaulting respondents, including Menard, Inc. (“Menard”).  The ITC also issued a general exclusion order.  Non-party Pass & Seymour, Inc. (“P&S”) had argued that the general exclusion should not reach P&S’s products, but the ITC rejected this argument.  Subsequently, on August 29, 2012, Leviton filed a complaint for an enforcement proceeding alleging, among other things, that Menard violated the cease and desist order by selling P&S GFCIs.  P&S joined the enforcement proceeding as an intervener, but the proceeding was later terminated following a settlement and licensing agreement between Leviton and P&S.


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By John Presper
|
Feb
10
On February 7, 2014, the ITC issued a notice instituting an advisory opinion proceeding in Certain Kinesiotherapy Devices and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-823).

By way of background, the investigation was based on a December 2, 2011 complaint filed by Standard Innovation Corporation and Standard Innovation (US) Corp. (collectively, "SIC") alleging violation of Section 337 in the importation into the U.S. and sale of certain kinesiotherapy devices and components thereof that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,931,605 and D605,779.  See our January 9, 2012 post for more details on the complaint.  SIC identified twenty-one proposed respondents in the complaint, including Lelo Inc. and Leloi AB (collectively, "Lelo").  On June 17, 2013, the ITC issued a final determination finding a violation of Section 337 based on the infringement of the '605 patent.  Based on evidence of a pattern of violation and difficulty ascertaining the source of infringing products, the Commission issued both a general exclusion order against certain kinesiotherapy devices that infringe the asserted claims of the '605 patent, as well as cease and desist orders against certain respondents, including Lelo.  See our June 27, 2013 post for more details.


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By John Presper
|
Dec
16
On December 11, 2013, the ITC issued an order and notice instituting an advisory opinion proceeding in Certain Sleep-Disordered Breathing Treatment Systems and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-879).

By way of background, the investigation was based on a March 28, 2013 complaint and April 19, 2013 letter supplementing the complaint filed by ResMed Corp., ResMed Inc., and ResMed Ltd. (collectively, “ResMed”) alleging violation of Section 337 in the importation and sale of certain sleep-disordered breathing treatment systems and components thereof that infringe one more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,159,587; 7,487,772; 7,997,267; 7,743,767; 6,216,691; 6,935,337 and 7,614,398.  See our March 29, 2013 post for more details on the complaint.  The Respondents in the investigation were Apex Medical Corp. and Apex Medical USA Corp. (collectively, “Apex”), and Medical Depot Inc., d/b/a Drive Medical Design & Manufacturing (“Medical Depot”).  Order Nos. 8 and 11 terminated the investigation as to Medical Depot and Apex, respectively, based on consent orders in July 2013.


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By Alex Gasser
|
Feb
14
On February 9, 2012, the International Trade Commission (the “Commission”) issued a notice and advisory opinion granting a request by non-respondent Holland Electronics, LLC (“Holland”) and determining that Holland’s identified coaxial cable connectors are not covered by the Commission’s March 31, 2010 general exclusion order for U.S. Patent No. 6,558,194 in Certain Coaxial Cable Connectors and Components Thereof and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-650).

By way of background, the Complainant in this investigation is John Mezzalingua Associates, Inc. d/b/a PPC, Inc. (“PPC”) and the Respondents are Fu Ching Technical Industry Co. Ltd., Gem Electronics, Inc. (collectively, the “Active Respondents”), Hanjiang Fei Yu Electronics Equipment Factory, Zhongguang Electronics, Yangzhou Zhongguang Electronics Co., Ltd., and Yangzhou Zhongguang Foreign Trade Co., Ltd. (collectively, the “Defaulting Respondents”).  The investigation was instituted on May 30, 2008.  On October 13, 2009, ALJ Gildea issued his Initial Determination (“ID”) finding, inter alia, that the Defaulting Respondents violated Section 337 by infringing various patents, including U.S. Patent No. 6,558,194 (the ‘194 patent).  See our November 10, 2009 post for more details.  On December 14, 2009, the Commission determined to review the ID in part, but the Commission did not review the ALJ’s determination with respect to the ‘194 patent.  See our December 16, 2009 post for more details. The Commission issued a general exclusion order on March 31, 2010 with respect to the ‘194 patent based on finding a violation of Section 337 by the defaulting respondents. 


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By Eric Schweibenz
|
Apr
27
On April 20, 2010, the International Trade Commission issued an advisory opinion determining to grant the request of Atheros Communications, Inc. (“Atheros”) for an opinion that the importation of products containing Atheros GPS chips does not violate the Commission’s limited exclusion order (“LEO”) in Certain GPS Devices and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-602).

By way of background, the Complainant in the underlying investigation was Global Locate, Inc. (“GL”), and the Respondents were SiRF Technology, Inc. (“SiRF”), E-TEN Corp., Pharos Science & Applications, Inc., MiTAC International Corporation, and Mio Technology Limited (collectively, “Respondents”).  GL’s complaint was directed to “SiRF GPS Devices” and “downstream products using accused SiRF GPS devices” manufactured and/or distributed by the other Respondents.  Atheros was not named as a respondent.


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