On March 18, 2011, the ITC issued an order and notice instituting a consolidated advisory opinion and modification proceeding in Certain Ink Cartridges and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-565).  The order and notice were issued in response to a joint petition filed on December 13,2010, by two Respondents in the underlying Investigation No. 337-TA-565, Ninestar Technology Co., Ltd. of China, and Ninestar Technology Company, Ltd. of Walnut, California (collectively, “Ninestar”), and a further petition filed on February 3, 2011, by the Complainants in the underlying investigation, Epson Portland, Inc. of Hillsboro, Oregon, Epson America, Inc. of Long Beach, California, and Seiko Epson Corporation of Japan (collectively “Epson”).

By way of background, on October 17, 2007, the ITC issued a general exclusion order in Investigation No. 337-TA-565 prohibiting the unlicensed entry of ink cartridges covered by one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,615,957; 5,622,439; 5,158,377; 5,221,148; 5,488,401; 6,502,917; 6,550,902; 6,955,422; 7,008,053; and 7,011,397.  The ITC also issued cease and desist orders with respect to several of the above patents to Ninestar Technology Company, Ltd.

Ninestar further was the subject of Enforcement Proceedings and a Commission Opinion dated September 24, 2009, determining that Ninestar violated the October 17, 2007, cease and desist orders.  See our September 28, 2009 post for more information.

According to the March 18, 2011 Notice, the ITC instituted the consolidated advisory opinion and modification proceeding to determine whether Ninestar’s R-Series ink cartridges infringe any of the patent claims included in the October 17, 2007 general exclusion order or the cease and desist order issued to Ninestar Technology Company, Ltd. and what, if any, modifications to the general exclusion order and/or the cease and desist order issued to Ninestar Technology Company, Ltd. are appropriate.

Lastly, Chief ALJ Paul J. Luckern issued a notice indicating that he will be the presiding Administrative Law Judge in this proceeding.