On March 31, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued Order No. 24 in Certain Composite Wear Components and Products Containing Same (337-TA-644).  In the Order, ALJ Essex stayed the evidentiary hearing scheduled to begin on April 13, 2009. 

On March 23, respondents AIA Engineering Ltd. and Vega Industries Ltd. filed a notice that “it will not participate any further in this investigation, except in connection with appeals or other challenges to the denial by the ALJ of [its] Termination Motion . . . .”  The notice stated that AIAE intended to seek redress against complainant Magotteaux S/A and Magotteaux, Inc. (Magotteaux) for incorrect allegations of patent infringement in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.

In response to AIAE’s notice, the Staff filed a motion for issuance of an ID finding AIAE in default.  The Staff indicated that Magotteaux joined in the motion but Magotteaux wished to seek an opportunity to file a separate brief and additionally move for adverse inferences on certain outstanding issues. 

In determining that a stay was appropriate, ALJ Essex noted that AIAE had indicated that they will no longer participate in the investigation and failed to file a pre-hearing brief, which was due on March 17.  He further indicated that, if the Staff’s dispositive motion is granted, an evidentiary hearing would be unnecessary, and requiring Magotteaux and the Staff to participate in the hearing “would be a waste of resources.”  ALJ Essex stated that once he ruled on the pending motions, he would revisit the issue as to whether an evidentiary hearing is necessary.