By John Presper

On March 3, 2022, ALJ Cameron Elliot issued a notice of his initial determination (“ID”) of no violation of section 337 in Certain Polycrystalline Diamond Compacts and Articles Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-1236).

By way of background, this investigation was instituted on December 21, 2020 based on a complaint by US Synthetic Corporation of Orem, Utah alleging violations of section 337 by 27 respondents based  upon the  importation/sale of  certain  polycrystalline  diamond compacts  and articles  containing same  that infringe U.S. Patent  Nos. 9,932,274;  10,508,502 (“the  ’502 Patent”);  9,315,881;  10,507,565 (“the  ’565 Patent”);  and 8,616,306 (“the  ’306 Patent”).  The products at issue are abrasion-resistant  polycrystalline  diamond  compacts  (“PDC”  or  “PDCs”) and  components  thereof for use in drill bits, bearings, and other industrial applications in the oil and gas industry.

According to the notice, ALJ Elliot found no violation of section 337 based on the following conclusions of law:

  1. All asserted claims of the ’565, ’502, and ’306 patents are infringed by at least one accused product.
  2. All asserted claims of the ’565, ’502, and ’306 patents are invalid.
  3. Except for the invalidity of the asserted claims, a domestic industry within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. § 1337 exists.

We will post the public version of the ID when it becomes available.

UPDATE:  On March 17, 2022, ALJ Elliot issued the public version (Part I, Part II) of the ID.