By Eric Schweibenz
On August 5, 2010, Invacare Corporation of Elyria, Ohio (“Invacare”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that Medical Depot, Inc., d/b/a Drive Medical Design and Manufacturing of Port Washington, New York (“Drive Medical”) and Shanghai Shunlong Physical Therapy Equipment Co., Ltd. of Shanghai, China (“Shunlong”) have sold for importation, imported, and/or sold within the U.S. after importation certain adjustable height beds and components thereof that infringe certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,983,495, 6,997,082, 7,302,716, and 7,441,289 (collectively, the “Asserted Patents”).

According to the complaint, the Asserted Patents relate to adjustable beds and other features of such beds, including universal or interchangeable bed ends that can be used at either end of the bed.

Invacare’s complaint asserts that Drive Medical directly infringes, contributes to infringement, and induces infringement of the Asserted Patents through the importation and/or the sale or offering for sale after importation into the United States of certain products (the “Accused Products”).  The complaint asserts that Shunlong directly infringes and contributes to the infringement of the Asserted Patents through the manufacture in China, sale for importation and/or importation into the United States of the same Accused Products.

Regarding related litigation, Invacare asserts that on July 21, 2009, it filed a complaint for patent infringement involving the Asserted Patents, among others, against Drive Medical in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

With respect to domestic industry, Invacare asserts that its products practice the inventions claimed in the Asserted Patents (the "Invacare Beds").  Invacare further asserts that it has made substantial investments in the United States in plant and equipment, employment of labor and capital, research and development, and sales of the Invacare Beds, and that it manufactures its beds at a manufacturing plant in Sanford, Florida since 2003.  The Complaint alleges that all research, development, and design, engineering, and testing of the Invacare Beds was performed by Invacare employees in its U.S. facilities, and that these beds have been commercially successful products.

With respect to potential remedy, Invacare requests the ITC to issue a permanent exclusion order and permanent cease-and-desist orders directed to Drive Medical and Shunlong.