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Recent Section 337 Developments: December 2020

Posted January 01, 2021


The International Trade Commission this week announced several actions taken recently in connection with Section 337 investigations involving intellectual property infringement.
USITC Seal and Patent Seal Behind Man Holding Digital Brain (IPR Concept)

The ITC is a federal agency with the authority, among other trade-related matters, to adjudicate cases involving companies that domestically exploit U.S. intellectual property rights (e.g., patents, registered trademarks, and copyrights) and those who import allegedly infringing products under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. § 1337).

The ITC conducts Section 337 investigations into complaints regarding unfair trade practices both on its own initiative and through petitions made by aggrieved companies. 

Power Tool Batteries

Power Tool Batteries: Notification concerning a complaint filed by One World Technologies, Inc. (dba Ryobi Tools) and Techtronic Power Tools Technology Ltd., concerning certain batteries (lithium-ion) and products containing same alleged to be in violation of Sec. 337 by more than a dozen Chinese electronics manufacturers. 

Organic LED TV

Active Matrix OLED Display Devices: Solicitation of comments regarding a complaint filed on December 28, 2020, by Solas OLED Ltd, an Ireland-based licensor of technology focused on the organic LED market, regarding the importation of certain active matrix OLED display devices and components thereof alleged to be in violation of the complainant’s IPR by more than a dozen electronics companies including Samsung, Sony, and LG. 

WiFi Wood Pellet Grill (GMG)

Cloud-Connected Wood-Pellet Grills: Initiation of a Patent Infringement Investigation into certain cloud-connected wood-pellet grills and components thereof based on a complaint filed by Traeger Pellet Grills LLC regarding alleged Sec. 337 violations by Oregon-based importer GMG Products LLC (dba Green Mountain Grills). 

SK Lithium Ion Battery
Lithium-Ion Batteries:  As part of an ongoing legal dispute between two South Korean electronics manufacturers, in the matter of Patent Infringement Investigation 337-TA-1181, the ITC granted a motion by the Korean firm LG Chem, Ltd. and its U.S. subsidiary for a summary determination with respect to satisfying the “economic prong” of the trade law’s domestic industry requirement. 

HydroFlasks

Insulated Flasks: Termination of Patent Infringement Investigation 337-TA-1216 of vacuum insulated flasks and components thereof following joint motions filed by original complainant Steel Technology LLC and others based on consent orders with two of the respondents.

Mahindra Roxor (Jeep Wrangler Look-Alike)
Motorized Vehicles: Modification of limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders previously issued in investigation 337-TA-1132 regarding certain motorized vehicles, kits and assemblies for motorized vehicles, and replacement and aftermarket components for motorized vehicles, to include an explicit exemption for one vehicle (i.e., redesigned Mahindra Roxor).

Universal Electronics Remote Controller

Electronic Devices: Partial* termination without import restrictions of Patent Infringement Investigation 337-TA-1200 regarding certain electronic devices, including streaming players, televisions, set-top boxes, remote controllers, and components thereof following a motion to withdraw filed by the original complainant Universal Electronics Inc.

*Two patents (here and here) concerning remote control devices were not included in the motion.

Roofer with Roof Underlayment

Synthetic Roofing Products: Termination without import restrictions of Patent Infringement Investigation 337-TA-1202 regarding certain synthetic roofing underlayment products and components thereof following a motion to do so, filed by the original complainant Kirsch Research and Development LLC.  

Vaporizers

Vaporizers: Termination of Patent Infringement Investigation 337-TA-1211 regarding vaporizer cartridges and components thereof following joint motions filed by Juul Labs, Inc. following legal resolution through consent order stipulations and proposed consent orders.

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Should you have any questions about any of these investigations or about other intellectual property rights issues, don’t hesitate to contact one of our knowledgeable trade experts.

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