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Issue 17 | April 29, 2002
Mosel Vitelic Requests ITC Investigation for
"Certain Semiconductor Memory Devices"
 On April 8, 2002, Taiwan's Mosel Vitelic filed a confidential "Section 337" complaint at the U.S. International Trade Commission alleging unfair trade practices in import trade involving "Certain Semiconductor Memory Devices." The proposed respondents are Hitachi, Ltd. of Tokyo, Japan; Hitachi Semiconductor (America) Inc. of San Jose, CA; Elpida Memory, Inc. of Tokyo, Japan; and Elpida Memory (USA) Inc. of Santa Clara, CA. As described in a previous APLF Update, the Commission has 30-45 days in which to decide whether to institute an investigation.

Section 337 complaints may be treated as confidential if they are designated as confidential, accompanied by a request for confidential treatment, are deemed by the Commission Secretary to indeed contain confidential business information. Upon institution of the investigation, any such confidential business information will be covered by a Protective Order that is issued by the Administrative Law Judge, often with Ground Rules, Dates for a Discovery Statement, and/or a Target Date for completion of the investigation within about 13-20 months.

A typical Protective Order describes in detail how documents containing confidential information are to be marked and by whom and how they are to be handled. Protective Orders also contain provisions to protect the confidential business information of non-party entities that supply confidential information pursuant to a Commission subpoena. Although these orders permit a party's outside counsel to have access to confidential business information produced during the investigation, a party's in-house counsel will typically be denied such access. Nonetheless, if the parties wish to afford each other's in-house counsel access to their respective confidential business information, they may request that the Administrative Law Judge include such a provision in the Protective Order in a particular case.

More information about Section 337 investigations is available from the U.S. International Trade Commission at http://www.usitc.gov/us337.htm.

To discuss this topic further, please contact the author, Bill Heinze, at Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley. The information contained in this email is provided for informational purposes only and does not represent legal advice. Neither the APLF nor the author intends to create an attorney client relationship by providing this information to you through this message.

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