By Eric Schweibenz
On October 5, 2017, the U.S. International Trade Commission (“Commission”) issued a press release announcing their vote to institute an investigation of Certain Thermoplastic-Encapsulated Electric Motors, Components Thereof, and Products and Vehicles Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-1073). Please note that Oblon represents the Aisin Seiki Respondents in this matter.

By way of background, this investigation is based on a September 5, 2017 complaint filed by Intellectual Ventures II LLC of Bellevue, Washington (“IV”) alleging violation of Section 337 by way of unlawful importation into the U.S., selling for importation, and/or selling within the U.S. after importation certain thermoplastic-encapsulated electric motors, components thereof, and products and vehicles containing same that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,154,200; 7,067,944; 7,067,953; 7,683,509; and 7,928,348. See our September 8, 2017 post for more details on the complaint and our August 16, 2017 post regarding the termination of an earlier investigation (337-TA-1052) involving the same parties based on IV’s lack of constitutional standing.

According to the Notice of Investigation, the Commission has identified the following as the respondents in this matter:

  • Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd. of Japan
  • Aisin Holdings of America, Inc. of Seymour, Indiana
  • Aisin Technical Center of America, Inc. of Northville, Michigan
  • Aisin World Corporation of America of Northville, Michigan
  • Bayerische Motoren Werke AG of Germany
  • BMW of North America, LLC of Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey
  • BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC of Greer, South Carolina
  • Denso Corporation of Japan
  • Denso International America, Inc. of Southfield, Michigan
  • Honda Motor Co., Ltd. of Japan
  • Honda North America, Inc. of Torrance, California
  • American Honda Motor Co., Inc. of Torrance, California
  • Honda of America Mfg., Inc. of Marysville, Ohio
  • Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC of Lincoln, Alabama
  • Honda R&D Americas, Inc. of Torrance, California
  • Mitsuba Corporation of Japan
  • American Mitsuba Corporation of Mount Pleasant, Michigan
  • Nidec Corporation of Japan
  • Nidec Automotive Motor Americas, LLC of Auburn Hills, Michigan
  • Toyota Motor Corporation of Japan
  • Toyota Motor North America, Inc. of New York, New York
  • Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. of Torrance, California
  • Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing of Erlanger, Kentucky
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana, Inc. of Princeton, Indiana
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. of Georgetown, Kentucky

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