By John Presper
On March 18, the Commission issued a Notice of Final Determination finding a violation of section 337 and general exclusion order (“GEO”) in Certain Shaker Screens for Drilling Fluids, Components Thereof, and Related Marketing Materials (Inv. No. 337-TA-1184).

By way of background, the Commission instituted this investigation on November 21, 2019 based on a complaint filed by M-I L.L.C. of Houston, Texas (“M-I”) alleging violation of section 337 by Anping Shengjia Hardware Mesh Co., Ltd. (“SJ Screen”) and Hebei Hengying Wire Cloth Co. Ltd (“Hengying Wire Cloth”) (collectively, “Respondents”) in the importation/sale of certain shaker screens for drilling fluids, components thereof, and related marketing materials that infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 7,210,582 (“the ’582 patent”); 7,810,649 (“the ’649 patent”); 8,925,735 (“the ’735 patent”); and U.S. Trademark Registration Nos. 2,151,736 and 2,744,891. After the Commission found Respondents in default, M-I filed a motion for summary determination that Respondents violated section 337, that M-I satisfies the domestic industry requirement, and requesting issuance of a GEO. The Office of Unfair Import Investigations supported M-I’s motion. On November 19, 2020, ALJ Clark S. Cheney issued an initial determination (“ID”) granting M-I’s motion and recommending issuance of a GEO.

On January 4, 2021, the Commission determined to review the ID’s finding that M-I’s investments in plant and equipment and M-I’s employment of labor and capital are significant under section 337(a)(3)(A) and (B), and sought briefing on remedy, bonding, and public interest. According to the notice, the Commission affirmed the ID’s finding that M-I satisfied the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement, but vacated the ID’s “value-added analysis.” The Commission also determined that the appropriate remedy is a GEO prohibiting the unlicensed importation of certain shaker screens for drilling fluids and components thereof that infringe claims 1 and 12 of the ’582 patent; claim 1 of the ’649 patent; and claims 1, 12, and 17 of the ’735 patent.

UPDATE:  On March 31, 2021, the Commission issued the public version of its opinion.

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