By John Presper

On December 6, 2021, Chief ALJ Charles E. Bullock issued a notice of his initial determination (“ID”) finding a violation of section 337 in Certain Cloud-Connected Wood-Pellet Grills and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-1237).

By way of background, this investigation was instituted on January 4, 2021 based on a complaint filed by Traeger Pellet Grills LLC of Salt Lake City, Utah (“Traeger”) alleging violations of section 337 by Respondent GMG Products LLC of Lakeside, Oregon (“GMG” or “Respondent”) due to the importation/sale of certain cloud-connected wood-pellet grills and components thereof that infringe certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 10,158,720 (“the ’720 Patent”) and U.S. Patent No. 10,218,833 (“the ’833 Patent”).  GMG was previously granted summary determination of non-infringement as to the ’833 patent, which was affirmed by the Commission.  See our November 22, 2021 post for more details regarding the Commission’s opinion.

According to the notice, the Chief ALJ found a violation of section 337 with respect to the ’720 patent based on the following conclusions of law:

  1. The Commission has subject matter jurisdiction over this investigation, in personam jurisdiction over Respondent, and in rem jurisdiction over the accused cloud-connected wood-pellet grills and components thereof.
  1. There has been an importation into the United States, sale for importation, or sale within the United States after importation of the accused products by Respondent.
  1. The accused products infringe claims 1 and 2 of the ’720 patent.
  1. The accused products do not infringe claims 12, 16, 21, and 22 of the ’720 patent
  1. Certain domestic industry products practice claims 1 and 2 of the ’720 patent.
  1. Respondent is estopped from challenging the invalidity of the ’720 patent based on the asserted prior art.
  1. The ’720 patent is not unenforceable for inequitable conduct.