By John Presper

On April 18, 2022, the ITC issued a notice of its final determination finding a violation of section 337 and a general exclusion order (“GEO”) in Certain Apparatus and Methods of Opening Containers (Inv. No. 337-TA-1255).

By way of background, this investigation is based on a January 28, 2021 complaint filed by Draft Top, LLC (“Draft Top”) alleging that nine entities unlawfully import/sell certain apparatus and methods of opening containers that are intentionally and willfully designed to be used, and are used, in a manner that infringes claim 12 of U.S. Patent No. 10,519,016 (“the ’016 patent”).  The accused products are can-opening devices designed to be used for the purpose of creating an open drinking container by removing the lid off the can.  See our March 16, 2021 post for more details regarding the complaint and Notice of Investigation.  Two respondents were terminated from the investigation based on withdrawal of the allegations in the complaint.  On December 20, 2021, former Chief ALJ Charles E. Bullock issued an initial determination (“ID”) granting Draft Top’s motion for summary determination of violation of section 337 by defaulting respondents KKS Enterprises Co., Ltd.; Kingskong Enterprises Co., Ltd.; Du Zuojun; WN Shipping USA, Inc.; Shuje Wei; Express Cargo Forwarded, Ltd.; and Hou Wenzheng; and recommending issuance of a GEO.  See our December 28, 2021 post for more details regarding the ID.

According to the notice, only Draft Top and the Commission Investigative Staff filed written submissions on remedy, the public interest, and bonding.  Having examined the record and the parties’ submissions, the Commission agreed that the appropriate remedy is a GEO and set a bond in the amount of 100 percent of the entered value of the excluded products.

We will post the Commission’s opinion when it becomes available.

UPDATE:  On May 6, 2022, the Commission issued the public version of its opinion.