ALJ Essex has retired from the ITC after a decade of service. News of his retirement was provided in notices issued by Chief ALJ Bullock in investigations previously assigned to ALJ Essex.
In an earlier post, we summarized ALJ McNamara’s recent Summary Determination in Certain UV Curable Coatings For Optical Fibers, Coated Optical Fibers, And Products Containing Same, Inv. No. 337-TA-1031, Order No. 33 (July 6, 2017). The ALJ invalidated claims 16-18, 21, and 30 of U.S. Patent No. 7,706,659, because the recited term “molecular weight” was indefinite. On August 7, 2017, the Commission reversed and vacated the determination. An opinion is forthcoming. We will provide an update when the Commission issues its public opinion.
Dispositive summary judgment in district court patent cases is somewhat common, but similar early dispositions of Section 337 investigations in the ITC are rare in comparison. One such outcome happened recently in Certain UV Curable Coatings For Optical Fibers, Coated Optical Fibers, And Products Containing Same, Inv. No. 337-TA-1031. Order No. 33 (July 6, 2017). Respondent Momentive UV Coatings (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (“MUV”) moved for summary determination that asserted claims 16-18, 21, and 30 of U.S. Patent No. 7,706,659 (“the ’659 patent”) are invalid for claim indefiniteness under 35 U.S.C. §112, ¶2. ALJ McNamara concluded that there were no genuine disputes of material fact and granted the motion.
The Commission issued an Opinion finding a violation of Section 337 in Certain Air Mattress Systems, Components Thereof, and Methods of Using Same, Inv. No. 337-TA-971. Of note, the Commission reversed a part of ALJ Bullock’s initial determination (ID) which had found that Complainant did not satisfy the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement.
The ITC has dealt a significant blow to the use of Inter Partes Review as a defense to a Section 337 investigation. In an order issued this week, the Commission denied a request to stay remedial orders that are currently on appeal after the asserted claims were found unpatentable by the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board in IPR proceedings.