By John Presper
On August 6, 2021, ALJ David P. Shaw released the public version (see Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV) of his July 8, 2021 final initial determination (“ID”) in Certain Chemical Mechanical Planarization Slurries and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-1204) finding a violation of section 337.

By way of background, the Commission instituted this investigation on July 7, 2020 based on a complaint filed by Cabot Microelectronics Corporation of Aurora, Illinois (“CMC”) alleging violations of section 337 by Respondents DuPont de Nemours, Inc. of Wilmington, Delaware; Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials CMP Inc. of Newark, Delaware; Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials CMP Asia Inc. (d/b/a Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials CMP Asia Inc., Taiwan Branch (U.S.A.)) of Taiwan; Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials Asia-Pacific Co., Ltd. of Taiwan; Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials K.K. of Japan; and Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials LLC of Marlborough, Massachusetts (collectively, “Respondents”) through the importation and/or sale of certain chemical mechanical planarization (“CMP”) slurries and components thereof by reason of infringement of one or more of claims of U.S. Patent No. 9,499,721 (“the ’721 patent”). CMP slurries, in conjunction with CMP pads, are necessary for the precise leveling and polishing of the numerous metal and dielectric layers deposited on silicon wafers in advanced semiconductor devices. The accused products are Respondents’ Optiplane 2300 and Optiplane 2600 product families used in the manufacture of such semiconductor devices.

According to the ID, ALJ Shaw determined that there was a violation of section 337 based on his findings that the accused products have been imported or sold for importation into the U.S.; the accused products infringe the claims 1, 3–6, 10, 11, 13, 14, 18–20, 24, 26–29, 31, 35–37, and 39–44 of the ’721 patent; CMC satisfied the domestic industry requirement; and the asserted claims of the ’721 patent have not been shown to be invalid. Further, the ALJ recommended issuance of a limited exclusion order (including a certification provision) and cease-and-desist order directed to Respondents, and a bond be set at 100%.