On March 10, 2010, ALJ Carl C. Charneski issued Order No. 13 denying as premature a motion to compel the attendance of Complainants Pioneer Corporation and Pioneer Electronics (USA)’s (collectively, “Pioneer”) Japanese employees to attend their depositions outside of Japan in Certain Multimedia Display Navigation Devices and Systems, Components Thereof, and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-694).

According to the Order, Article 17 of the United States - Japan Bilateral Consular Convention of 1963 imposes procedural requirements on attorneys who wish to take a deposition in Japan.  One such requirement under Article 17 is that depositions in Japan must be taken either at the United States Embassy in Tokyo or at one of several regional U.S. consular offices.

In their motion to compel, Respondents Garmin Corporation and Garmin International, Inc. (collectively, “Garmin”) asserted that they intend to depose at least 40 of Pioneer’s Japanese employees.  Garmin further argued that compliance with the requirements of Article 17 would impose significant burdens.  Such burdens, argued Garmin, are not imposed on American attorneys taking depositions outside of Japan.  Garmin thus requested an order directing that the depositions take place outside of Japan, preferably in the United States but alternatively in either Korea or Hong Kong.

In denying Garmin’s motion, ALJ Charneski noted that the motion to compel was premature because no specific problems had arisen concerning the depositions in Japan.  ALJ Charneski further stated that if such a specific problem should arise in the future, then Garmin could renew its request for an appropriate remedy.