By Eric Schweibenz
On July 27, 2009, ALJ Carl C. Charneski issued the public version of Order No. 23 (dated April 24, 2009) in Certain Cast Steel Railway Wheels, Certain Processes For Manufacturing Or Relating To Same And Certain Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-655).  In the Order, ALJ Charneski denied Respondents Standard Car Truck, Inc., Barber Tianrui Railway Supply, Tianrui Group Company Limited, and Tianrui Group Foundry Company Limited’s (collectively, “Respondents”) motion to compel.

In their motion, Respondents sought an order from ALJ Charneski compelling Complainant Amsted Industries Incorporated (“Amsted”) to provide a list of the “Griffin Trade Secrets.”  Amsted and the Commission Investigative Staff (the “Staff”) opposed Respondents’ motion.  Specifically, Amsted argued that the disputed discovery request had been “sufficiently answered” since it previously produced documents and things relating to “Griffin Wheel’s Kansas City, Kansas, cast steel railway facility and allowed [R]espondents to inspect that facility.”  Amsted further argued that “this investigation is an unfair-competition-based investigation brought under Section 337(a)(1)(A) and involves the Respondents’ misappropriation of certain ABC trade Secrets.”

The Staff opposed Respondents’ motion arguing that “a specific listing of the technical details of the Griffin Wheel trade secrets is not necessary to making a determination regarding the development, licensing, or domestic industry allegations asserted by Amsted that are based on these trade secrets.”  The Staff further argued that “Respondents do not explain in their Motion why the information Amsted already has produced is not sufficient for them to explore further in discovery the allegations concerning Amsted’s licensing of those trade secrets, or their application in the production of cast steel railway wheels in the United States.”

In the Order, ALJ Charneski agreed with Amsted and the Staff.  In particular, ALJ Charneski determined that “Amsted is not alleging in this investigation that [R]espondents misappropriated the Griffin Wheel trade secrets” and thus “inasmuch as this investigation involves only the alleged misappropriation of the ABC trade secrets,” Respondents’ motion must be denied.