In Inv. No. 337-TA-887, Certain Crawler Cranes and Components Thereof, the International Trade Commission (the “commission”) affirmed Administrative Law Judge David P. Shaw’s initial determination that Sany Heavy Industry Co. Ltd. (Sany) misappropriated trade secrets from Manitowoc Cranes LLC (Manitowoc), causing damage to Manitowoc’s domestic industry. Additionally, the commission reversed in part Judge Shaw’s determination that Sany had infringed U.S. Patent Nos. 7,546,928 and 7,967,158.

Complainant Manitowoc alleged that Respondent Sany misappropriated its trade secrets after John Lanning, a former Manitowoc executive, helped Sany build cranes using Manitowoc’s proprietary information. Manitowoc alleged that it possessed trade secrets in its market analysis, pricing, and manufacturing processes. The commission rejected Sany’s argument that Manitowoc’s trade secrets were not legally protectable and highlighted the precautionary measures Manitowoc took. Further, the commission found that Sany had notice that Lanning had improperly obtained Manitowoc’s trade secrets and that Sany failed to prevent the use of the information once Lanning shared it. Accordingly, the commission found that Sany had misappropriated Manitowoc’s trade secrets.

Further, Manitowoc alleged that Sany’s SCC8500 crawler crane infringed various method and apparatus claims of two patents directed to crane counterweight systems. The commission reversed Judge Shaw’s initial determination of inducement of infringement of the method claims because it found that Manitowoc admitted that Sany had not performed certain claimed methods within the United States. Also, the commission found that no evidence showed that Sany’s products directly infringed those method claims. Accordingly, it reversed Judge Shaw’s initial determination of inducement of infringement of the method claims. However, the commission found that Sany’s crane directly infringed the apparatus claims. Because it found direct infringement, it did not reach Judge Shaw’s finding of inducement of infringement of the apparatus claims.

Accordingly, the commission affirmed in part Judge Shaw’s initial determination and issued a limited exclusion order and a cease-and-desist order against Sany for 10 years.

Certain Crawler Cranes and Components Thereof, Inv. No. 337-TA-887, USITC (May 6, 2015) (Opinion of the Commission).