By John Presper
On August 4, 2021, the ITC issued a Notice of Investigation in Certain Optical Enclosures, Components Thereof, and Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-1274).

By way of background, this investigation is based on a July 2, 2021 complaint (as amended) filed by Criterion Technology, Inc. of Thomaston, Georgia (“Criterion”) alleging a violation of section 337 by Respondents Velodyne Lidar USA, Inc. of San Jose, California (“Velodyne”) and Fujian Fran Optics Co., Ltd. of China (“Fujian”) in the unlawful importation and/or sale in the U.S. of certain optical enclosures, components thereof, and products containing the same by reason of the misappropriation of trade secrets.

According to the complaint, the technology at issue relates to high-quality optical enclosures made from polymers including polycarbonate, acrylic, and nylon. The accused products are polycarbonate and nylon optical enclosures manufactured and sold by Fujian, and LiDAR products being commercialized by Velodyne under the names Alpha Prime, Ultra Puck, Puck, Puck Lite, Puck Hi-Res, and Veladome. The trade secrets at issue relate to Criterion’s “know-how” in the manufacture of the optical enclosures, specifically (i) features of the tooling design used to manufacture optical enclosures with high transmissivity; (ii) product designs and specifications for optical enclosures with high transmissivity, including materials for use; and (iii) thermal cured hard coatings including methods for utilizing thermal cured hard coatings rather than less desirable anti-reflective surface coatings. Criterion is requesting that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order and permanent cease-and-desist order directed to Respondents. According to the Notice of Investigation, the Office of Unfair Import Investigations will participate as a party in the investigation. Lastly, Chief ALJ Charles E. Bullock issued a notice indicating that ALJ David P. Shaw will preside in the investigation.