By Eric Schweibenz
On April 11, 2013, the U.S. International Trade Commission issued a notice and order instituting consolidated enforcement and modification proceedings in Certain Dimmable Compact Fluorescent Lamps and Products (Inv. No. 337-TA-830).

By way of background, the Commission instituted this investigation on February 22, 2012 based on a complaint filed by Neptun Light, Inc. and Andrzej Bobel (collectively, “Neptun”) alleging violation of Section 337 by reason of infringement of various claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,434,480 and 8,035,318 by several respondents, including MaxLite, Inc. (“MaxLite”).  See our February 23, 2012 post for more details.  On July 25, 2012, the Commission terminated the investigation as to MaxLite and entered a consent order preventing MaxLite from importing dimmable compact fluorescent lamps (“CFLs”) that infringed claim 9 of the ‘480 patent.

On February 6, 2013, MaxLite petitioned the Commission under Rule 210.76 for modification of the consent order on the basis of a recent decision by the Northern District of Illinois that dimmable CFLs purchased by MaxLite from a certain third party are subject to a covenant not to sue and thus do not infringe claim 9 of the ‘480 patent.  On February 18, 2013, Neptun filed a complaint requesting that the Commission institute a formal enforcement proceeding under Rule 210.75 to investigation and confirm violations of the consent order by MaxLite.  The Commission determined that both MaxLite’s petition and Neptune’s complaint complied with the requirements for institution of a modification and enforcement proceeding, respectively.

Lastly, Chief ALJ Charles E. Bullock issued a notice indicating that Thomas B. Pender will be the presiding Administrative Law Judge in this investigation.