USITC Seeks Public Comments on Solar Panel Decision

Solar Panels

Trade Update • NOVEMBER 14, 2021

TU.S. International Trade Commission this week issued a Notice seeking comments on the “public interest issues” raised by a recent initial determination finding in a patent infringement case against certain imported solar panels.

Background

The case in question is the result of an investigation launched in 2020 following a complaint by Solaria, a Fremont, California-based manufacturer of solar energy products, that accused panel maker Canadian Solar of infringing its patented shingle cell technology after a proposed licensing deal had fallen through.

On October 21, 2021, presiding Administrative Law Judge Clark S. Cheney issued an Initial Determination finding that Canadian Solar violated section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, in their importation of shingled solar modules from China. Pursuant to 19 CFR § 210.50, Judge Cheney also issued a Recommended Determination on Remedy and Bond which requires that the Commission seek information relating to the public interest concerning the trade remedy imposed should a final affirmative determination be made.

Public Interest Issues

In particular, the Commission is interested in comments that:

(i) explain how the articles potentially subject to the recommended remedial order are used in the United States;

(ii) identify any public health, safety, or welfare concerns in the U.S. relating to the recommended order;

(iii) identify like or directly competitive articles that complainant, its licensees, or third parties make in the United States which could replace the subject articles if they were to be excluded;

(iv) indicate whether complainant, complainant’s licensees, and/or third-party suppliers have the capacity to replace the volume of articles potentially subject to the recommended order within a commercially reasonable time; and

(v) explain how the recommended order would impact U.S. consumers.

Submission Information

Written submissions must be filed via the USITC’s Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) no later than by the close of business on December 8, 2021.

Submissions should be no more than five (5) pages, inclusive of attachments, and should also refer to the investigation number (“Inv. No. 337-TA-1223”) in a prominent place on the cover page and/or the first page.

Additional information about making submissions can be found in the Handbook for Electronic Filing Procedures here.

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