By John Presper

On March 1, 2022, Australian Mud Company Pty Ltd. of Australia (“AMC”) and Reflex USA LLC of Chandler, Arizona (“Reflex”) (collectively, “Complainants”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to section 337.

The complaint alleges that the following proposed respondents (collectively, “Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain core orientation systems, components thereof, and products containing the same that are used to determine the orientation of a core drilled from the earth in a manner that infringes U.S. Patent No. 7,584,055 (“the ‘055 patent):

  • Boart Longyear Group Ltd. of West Valley City, Utah
  • Boart Longyear Limited of Australia
  • Boart Longyear Company of West Valley City, Utah
  • Boart Longyear Manufacturing and Distribution Inc. of West Valley City, Utah
  • Longyear TM, Inc. of West Valley City, Utah
  • Globaltech Corporation Pty Ltd. of Australia
  • Globaltech Pty Ltd. of Australia
  • Granite Construction Inc. of Watsonville, California
  • International Directional Services LLC of Chandler, Arizona

According to the complaint, the ’055 patent generally relates to apparatuses and methods for determining the physical orientation of a core sample that has been drilled from the earth.  The accused products include Respondents’ TruCore core orientation system, including specifically the TruCore V5 (also referred to as the Orifinder V5) and the TruCore UPIX (also referred to as the Orifinder UPIX), components thereof (e.g., the TruCore tool, the TruCore handheld, and other components included within the TruCore kit), and products containing the same (e.g., core drills and inner tube assemblies containing a TruCore tool) that are used for geological surveying and mining operations.

The complaint states that the parties have been litigating the ’055 patent and its Australian counterpart “for years.”  Respondents filed an IPR petition challenging the ’055 patent at the USPTO in 2019 (IPR2019-01129), with the PTAB rejecting all asserted grounds of unpatentability.

Regarding domestic industry, Complainants allege that a domestic industry exists or is in the process of being established under 19 U.S.C. § 1337(a)(2) and (3) with respect to the technology protected by the ’055 patent based on significant and substantial activities by Reflex and its affiliates in the United States in connection with domestic industry products such as the ACT III and ACT IQ core orientation systems.

With respect to potential remedy, Complainants request that the Commission issue a permanent limited exclusion order and permanent cease-and-desist order directed to each proposed Respondent.