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Archived updates for Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Three New Unfair Import Complaints

On January 10, 2005, SanDisk Corporation filed a "Section 337" unfair import complaint at the U.S. International Trade Commission. The complaint requests that an unfair import investigation be instituted involving "Certain NOR and NAND Flash Memory Devices and Products Containing Same." The proposed respondents are STMicroelectronics N.V., Geneva, Switzerland, and STMicroelectronics, Inc., Carrollton, Texas. The complaint has been designated as confidential and assigned Docket No. 337-2461 for indexing in the Commission's database.

On January 10, 2005, Solomon Technologies, Inc. also filed a "Section 337" requesting that an unfair import investigation be instituted involving "Certain Combination Motor and Transmission Systems and Devices Used Therein, and Products Containing Same." The proposed respondents are Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota City, Aichi, Japan; Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, Erlanger, Kentucky; and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., Torrance, California. The complaint has been designated as confidential and assigned Docket No. 337-2462.

On January 11, 2005, Align Technology, Inc. filed a "Section 337" complaint requesting that an unfair import investigation be instituted involving "Certain Incremental Dental Positioning Appliances and Methods of Producing Same." The proposed respondents are Orthoclear, Inc. San Francisco, CA; Orthoclear Holdings, Inc., Tortola, British Virgin Islands, and Orthoclear Pakistan Pvt. Ltd., Lahore, Pakistan. The complaint has been designated as confidential and assigned Docket No. 337-2463.

Such complaints typically include an allegation of intellectual property infringement and a request that the infringing godds be excluded from entry into the United States. The Commission now has 30-35 days from the filing date of the complaints in which to decide whether to institute the investigation. Upon institution, the proposed respondent will be served with the Complaint via postal mail and an Administrative Law Judge will schedule discovery, conduct a trial, and issue a written "Initial Determination," usually within about 10 months. Due to the expedited nature of these proceedings, and availability of general exclusion orders affecting non-parties, it is important to notify any potential importers of similar products as soon as possible.

Click here for more information on the importance of monitoring these ITC investigations, and click here for a free audio-visual Internet presentation on "Unfair Import Investigations at the U.S. International Trade Commission." For the latest details on a particular Section 337 investigation and/or other intellectual property matter, contact me, Bill Heinze (, at Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley in Atlanta, Georgia.
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