Issue 31 | October 3, 2002
New Section 337 Watch Service
 The APLF is pleased to announce a new public service aimed at supplementing our "Patent Law Updates" e-mail program with notifications concerning new requests for investigations of "Intellectual Property Infringement and other Unfair Practices in Import Trade" before the U.S. International Trade Commission. You can sign up for the new service simply by visiting the Section 337 sign up page.

As discussed during our June 2002 Roundtable presented by Bill Heinze of Thomas Kayden Horstemeyer & Risley, the expedited nature of these so-called "Section 337 Investigations" makes it important to quickly notify clients and begin preparing a litigation strategy before the complaint is formally served on a proposed respondent. In fact, under certain circumstances, goods may be denied entry into the U.S. under a "general exclusion order" even though an importer has not received actual notice of the investigation.

Here is a sample of the information that will be provided with the new service.

On September 17, 2002, Brian Nester (of Fish & Richardson) filed a "Section 337" complaint at the U.S. International Trade Commission on behalf of Genesis Microchip, Inc. The complaint alleges unfair trade practices in connection with the importation of "Certain Digital Display Processors and Products Containing Same" including infringement of U.S. Patent No. 5,739,867 for "Method and Apparatus for Upscaling an Image in Both Horizontal and Vertical Directions."

The proposed respondents are Media Reality Technologies, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA; SmartASIC, Inc., San Jose, CA; and Trumpion Microelectronics, Inc.,Taiwan. The complaint has been assigned Docket No. 2270 for indexing in the Commission's database at http://dockets.usitc.gov/eol/public/isearch.html.

The Commission now has 30-35 days in which to decide whether to institute the investigation. Upon institution, the proposed respondents 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, it is important to notify any interested clients as soon as possible. General information about Section 337 investigations is available at http://www.aplf.org/events/roundtables/2002-06-20.shtml and http://info.usitc.gov/337.

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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