By Eric Schweibenz
On October 25, 2011, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued Order No. 7 in Certain LED Photographic Lighting Devices and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-804).

According to the Order, Respondent Shantou Nanguang Photographic Equipment Co., Ltd. (“Nanguang”) filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.  Complainants Litepanels, Ltd. and Litepanels, Inc. (collectively, “Litepanels”) opposed the motion and argued that there was no precedent for what Nanguang was requesting, particularly since the ITC already passed on the sufficiency of the complaint when it approved the initiation of the investigation.  Litepanels further argued that the complaint contains more than adequate detail to establish its claim that there has been a violation of Section 337.  The Commission Investigative Staff opposed the motion and argued that there was more than sufficient detail in the complaint. 

In the Order, ALJ Essex first noted that “Nanguang cites no Commission rule or Commission precedent for its motion.”  ALJ Essex further noted that Litepanel’s complaint is sufficient with respect to Nanguang.  Specifically, ALJ Essex relied on the Supreme Court’s Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombley decision as well as the Federal Circuit’s decision in McZeal v. Sprint Nextel Corp. to determine that “Litepanel’s complaint contains specific allegations that Nanguang demonstrated products at a product show in Las Vegas that were copies of Litepanel’s products and that those products embody Litepanel’s patents.”  ALJ Essex further determined that “Litepanel’s complaint alleges that Nanguang manufactures at least one of the accused products that are charted in the exhibits of the complaint for the other respondents.”  According to ALJ Essex, “[t]his is sufficient to put Nanguang on notice of Litepanel’s claim.”  Lastly, ALJ Essex noted that “Nanguang is free to explore the sufficiency and basis of Litepanel’s allegations through discovery and may bring a motion for summary determination at the appropriate time if it believes there is no merit to Litepanel’s allegations.”  Accordingly, ALJ Essex denied Nanguang’s motion to dismiss.