By Eric Schweibenz
On November 17, 2009 Chief ALJ Paul J. Luckern issued the heavily redacted public version of Order No. 27 (dated November 4, 2009) granting Complainant Humanscale Corporation’s (“Humanscale”) motion for summary determination on the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement in Certain Adjustable Keyboard Support Systems and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-670).

According to the Order, Humanscale filed its summary determination motion on October 2, 2009.  Respondents CompX International, Inc. and Waterloo Furniture Corporation Ltd. d/b/a CompX Waterloo (collectively, “CompX”) filed an opposition to the motion on October 14, 2009.  While the Commission Investigative Staff (the “Staff”) also filed an opposition to the motion on October 14, 2009, Staff argued that it would not oppose a motion by Humanscale for leave to supplement its motion with a “brief declaration by a competent witness setting forth what portion of its total investment in ‘keyboard support systems’ is attributable to those products Humanscale asserts are covered by the [asserted patent].”  On October 20, 2009, Humanscale filed a motion for leave to file a reply memorandum in further support of its motion “in order to provide additional facts requested by the [Staff]…”  ALJ Luckern granted Humanscale’s motion for leave on October 21, 2009 and ordered the Staff and CompX to respond to Humanscale’s reply no later than October 26, 2009.

In the Order, ALJ Luckern determined that CompX did not challenge the underlying facts set forth in Humanscale’s motion for summary determination, but rather CompX raised only legal arguments as to how the facts should be interpreted generally.  By way of example, ALJ Luckern rejected “respondents’ argument that complainant’s research and development investments should be limited to those projects that are directed to the exact technology of the [asserted patent] and finds further that, based on the evidence…respondents’ argument does not create a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether complainant has satisfied the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement.”  Accordingly, ALJ Luckern concluded that “[e]ven viewing all evidence in the light most favorable to the non-movant and drawing all justifiable inferences in favor of the non-movant, it is clear that complainant has made a significant investment in plant and equipment, has significant employment of labor or capital, and has made substantial investment in exploitation of the patent at issue, including engineering, research and development, in the United States.”