By John Presper

On December 28, 2021, the ITC released a Notice of Enforcement Proceeding relating to the general exclusion order (“GEO”) and cease-and-desist order (“CDO”) issued against Respondent Panduit Corporation (“Panduit”) in Certain High-Density Fiber Optic Equipment and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-1194).

By way of background, the Commission instituted the original investigation on March 24, 2020 based on a complaint by Corning Optical Communications LLC (“Corning”) alleging violations of section 337 by thirteen respondents, including Panduit, due to the importation/sale of certain high-density fiber optic equipment and components thereof that infringe certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 9,020,320 (“the ’320 patent”); 10,120,153 (“the ’153 patent”); 8,712,206 (“the ’206 patent”); 10,094,996 (“the ’996 patent”); and 10,444,456 (“the ’456 patent”).  The accused products are chassis with sliding trays that fit within the standardized racks used in data centers, removable modules that are inserted into the sliding trays of the chassis and terminate large numbers of fiber-optic cables using standardized connectors, and combinations thereof. On March 23, 2021, ALJ David P. Shaw issued a final initial determination (“ID”) of a violation of section 337 by respondents with respect to claims 1 and 3 of the ’320 patent; claims 11, 12, 14-16, 19, 21, 27, and 28 of the ’456 patent; claims 9, 16, 23, and 26 of the ’153 patent; and claims 22 and 23 of the ’206 patent. See our April 23, 2021 post for more details regarding the ID.  On August 3, 2021, the Commission issued a notice of its final determination finding a violation of section 337 and issuance of a GEO and CDOs against respondents.  See our August 5, 2021 post for more details regarding the Commission’s opinion.  On November 4, 2021, Corning filed a complaint requesting institution of an enforcement proceeding to investigate alleged violations of the GEO and CDO by Panduit.

According to the notice, the named respondent in the enforcement proceeding is Panduit, and the Office of Unfair Import Investigation will participate as a party.  In a concurrent order, the Commission determined that the complaint complies with the requirements for institution of an enforcement proceeding.