By Eric Schweibenz
On April 22, 2014, ALJ Dee Lord issued Order No. 6 in Certain Sulfentrazone, Sulfentrazone Compositions, and Processes for Making Sulfentrazone (Inv. No. 337-TA-914).

By way of background, this investigation is based on a March 5, 2014 complaint filed by FMC Corp. (“FMC”) alleging violation of Section 337 in the importation into the U.S. and sale of certain certain sulfentrazone active ingredient and formulated sulfentrazone compositions made by a process that infringes one or more claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,169,952 (the ‘952 patent).  See our March 6, 2014 and April 11, 2014 posts for more details on the complaint and Notice of Investigation, respectively. 

According to Order No. 6, Respondents Beijing Nutrichem Science and Technology Stock Co., Ltd. and Jiangxi Heyi Chemicals Co. Ltd. (collectively, “Respondents”) filed a motion to deem the temporary relief proceeding more complicated.  FMC filed its opposition to the motion.  ALJ Lord agreed with the Respondents and designated this investigation “more complicated.”  Specifically, ALJ Lord determined that the “more complicated” designation was being conferred on the basis of the complexity of the issues raised in the motion for temporary relief, including: (1) a patent which relates to a chemical process that is allegedly practiced in China, (2) multiple products accused of infringement, (3) two Chinese respondents and the anticipated difficulty of obtaining discovery of information located in China, (4) the likelihood of the assertion of multiple alleged invalidating prior art references, and (5) the likelihood that the date of invention and diligence in reduction to practice will become disputed issues.  Lastly, ALJ Lord set the procedural schedule and determined, inter alia, that the hearing on the motion for temporary relief will commence on July 1, 2014.