By Eric Schweibenz
On February 19, 2013, Andrzej Bobel and Neptun Light, Inc. (“Neptun”) (collectively, “Complainants”)—both of Lake Forest, Illinois—filed an enforcement complaint in Certain Dimmable Compact Fluorescent Lamps and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-830).  The enforcement complaint alleges that Maxlite, Inc. f/k/a SK America, Inc. of West Caldwell, New Jersey (“Maxlite”) has violated a consent order entered in the underlying investigation.

By way of background, the International Trade Commission (the “Commission”) instituted the underlying investigation on February 22, 2012 based on the Complainants’ complaint of January 23, 2012 and subsequent filings.  See our February 23, 2012 post for more details.  On June 15, 2012, Maxlite moved to terminate the investigation as to itself and for entry of a proposed consent order.  ALJ Thomas B. Pender granted Maxlite’s motion, terminated the investigation as to Maxlite, and entered the consent order on July 11, 2012.  See our July 16, 2012 post for more details.  In the consent order, Maxlite agreed that it would not import or sell dimmable compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) that infringe claim 9 of U.S. Patent No. 5,434,480 (the ‘480 patent).

In the enforcement complaint, the Complainants allege that Maxlite has violated the consent order by resuming the manufacture, importation, and sale after importation of dimmable CFLs that infringe claim 9 of the ‘480 patent.  The enforcement complaint specifically refers to a Model No. MLS20GUDWW dimmable CFL as an infringing product.

In view of this alleged violation of the consent order, the Complainants request that the Commission institute a formal enforcement proceeding pursuant to 19 C.F.R. § 210.75.  With respect to potential remedy, the Complainants request that the Commission issue a permanent cease and desist order prohibiting Maxlite and parties acting in concert with it from engaging in illegal activities.  The Complainants further request that the Commission modify ALJ Pender’s consent order in any manner that would assist in the prevention of the unfair practices that were originally the basis for the consent order.  The Complainants also request that the Commission impose civil penalties pursuant to 19 U.S.C. § 1337(f), and if necessary, bring an appropriate civil action in a U.S. district court to recover such civil penalties.  Lastly, the Complainants request that the Commission impose such other remedies and sanctions as are appropriate and within the Commission’s authority.