On May 28, 2015, ALJ Thomas B. Pender issued the public version of Order No. 20 (dated May 22, 2015) and Order No. 21 in Certain Windshield Wipers and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA/928/937). Please note that Oblon represents Complainants in this matter.
By way of background, the investigation is based on July 25, 2014 and October 15, 2014 complaints filed by Valeo North America, Inc. of Troy, Michigan and Delmex de Juarez S. de R.L. de C.V. of Mexico alleging violation of Section 337 in the importation into the U.S. and sale of certain windshield wipers and components thereof. See our August 1, 2014, August 28, 2014, October 16, 2014, and November 19, 2014 posts for more details on the complaints and Notices of Investigation in the 928 and 937 investigations. On December 9, 2014, ALJ Pender consolidated the 928 and 937 investigations. See our December 15, 2014 post for more details.
According to Order No. 20, Respondents Trico Products Corporation and Trico Componentes SA de CV (collectively, "Trico") filed a motion to serve second supplemental invalidity contentions. Trico sought permission to supplement its invalidity contentions to include three new pieces of prior art "that it only recently discovered." Specifically, Trico sought to include (1) a printed publication, (2) photographs, and (3) a press release. In opposition, Complainants Valeo North America, Inc. and Delmex de Juarez S. de R.L. de C.V. (collectively, "Valeo") argued that the proposed addition of the printed publication and photographs would prejudice Valeo. Additionally, Valeo argued that Trico failed to establish diligence and good cause justifying the addition of the new prior art. Valeo did not oppose Trico's motion with respect to the press release.
ALJ Pender held that "that Trico failed to establish diligence and good cause as required by Ground Rule 7.6" with respect to the printed publication and photographs. Furthermore, ALJ Pender determined that Trico may amend its invalidity contentions to include the press release. Accordingly, ALJ Pender granted-in-part Trico's motion.
According to Order No. 21, Trico filed a motion for sanctions for contempt of discovery order. Specifically, Trico argued that Valeo failed to produce certain press releases, which were available on Valeo's website. In opposition, Valeo asserted that it was not required to produce publicly available documents. Additionally, Valeo argued that the alleged discovery violation does not justify the sanctions sought by Trico. ALJ Pender held that the press releases should have been produced but the failure to produce them did not justify sanctions. Accordingly, ALJ Pender denied Trico's motion.