By Eric Schweibenz
On July 2, 2013, ALJ David P. Shaw issued Order No. 22 in Certain Compact Fluorescent Reflector Lamps, Products Containing Same and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-872).

By way of background, the investigation is based on a complaint filed by Andrzej Bobel and Neptun Light, Inc. (collectively, “Neptun”) alleging violation of Section 337 in the importation into the U.S. and sale of certain compact fluorescent reflector lamps (“reflector CFLs”) and products and components containing same that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,053,540.  See our January 30, 2013 post for more details on the complaint.

According to the Order, Respondents Satco Products, Inc., Maxlite, Inc. and Litetronics International, Inc. filed three notices of deposition for Neptun’s chief financial officer.  Since Neptun’s chief financial officer supervises data entry of financial transactions, the three respondents argued that she would have information relevant to Neptun’s domestic industry allegations.  Neptun filed a motion to quash the notices, arguing that the deposition is duplicative and unnecessary as the chief financial officer was a designated Rule 30(b)(6) deponent.  Neptun also alleged that Satco Products, Inc. spent less than one hour deposing the chief financial officer in its 30(b)(6) deposition, suggesting that a second notice was filed merely for the purpose of harassing Neptun.

ALJ Shaw denied the motion to quash, noting that the scope of allowable discovery is broad, and the chief financial officer is likely to know information relevant to the claims and defenses asserted by the parties.

According to the Order, Satco Products, Inc. (“Satco”) also filed a motion to compel documents from Neptun relevant to its domestic industry case, including documents related to accounting reports, bank statements, audited financial statements, cancelled checks, and tax returns.  Neptun argued that the motion should be denied, asserting that it has produced over 150 reports demonstrating the investments underlying its domestic industry claims, and that some categories of documents requested by Satco are not relevant to domestic industry nor required to confirm accuracy of any documents, as “Satco has identified nothing to call into question the accuracy of the financial information produced.” 

ALJ Shaw denied Satco’s motion to compel, stating that the documents sought “would be unduly burdensome for Neptun” to produce, and do not appear “reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.”  The ALJ also noted that if Satco seeks corroboration of expenses or relevant income, less burdensome ways to obtain that information exist.