Last week, Judge Essex issued a notice updating his ground rules in active investigations pending before him.
ITC Commissioner F. Scott Kieff has announced that he is leaving the ITC to return to his previous academic position as a professor at the George Washington University Law School. Kieff’s last day at the ITC will be June 30, 2017.
Certain Access Control Systems and Components Thereof, Inv. No. 337-TA-1016 (May 31, 2017), is a good lesson in covering all your bases. Relying on a non-infringement decision by ALJ Pender, respondents assumed that they did not need to present an invalidity case, and they failed to take certain relevant discovery. When Judge Pender’s decision was reversed by the Commission, they tried to get that discovery. Judge Pender ruled that it was too late.
Before 2011, the ITC routinely found violations of Section 337 based on the infringement of method claims through a respondent’s own use of an article post-importation. This changed when the ITC issued its Opinion in Certain Electronic Devices with Image Processing Systems, Components Thereof and Associated, Inv. No. 337-TA-724 (“Electronic Devices”). In that case the ITC held that post-importation direct infringement of a method claim, without a showing of indirect infringement, could not substantiate a violation of Section 337. But the ITC has recently indicated that it is rethinking its Electronics Devices precedent.
This month, in Certain Arrowheads with Deploying Blades and Components Thereof and Packaging Therefor, Inv. No. 337-TA-977, the Commission weighed in on the standard for obtaining a cease and desist order where the respondents default. The majority held that the ITC will only issue a cease and desist order against a defaulting respondent when evidence of domestic inventory of accused products is provided in the complaint. In such circumstances, the ITC will presume that the domestic inventory is commercially significant because the respondent defaulted.