On April 8, 2014, the International Trade Commission (“the Commission”) issued a notice in Certain Compact Fluorescent Reflector Lamps, Products Containing Same and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-872).  In the notice, the Commission determined to review, in part, ALJ David P. Shaw’s Final Initial Determination (“ID”) finding a violation of Section 337 by Respondents Maxlite, Inc. (“Maxlite”), Satco Products, Inc. (“Satco”), and Litetronics International, Inc. (“Litetronics”) (collectively, “Respondents”). 

By way of background, the investigation is based on a complaint filed by Andrzej Bobel and Neptun Light, Inc. (collectively, “Neptun”) alleging violation of Section 337 in the importation into the U.S. and sale of certain compact fluorescent reflector lamps (“reflector CFLs”), and products and components containing same, that infringe claims 1, 2, 10, and 11 of U.S. Patent No. 7,053,540 (the ‘540 patent).  See our January 30, 2013 and March 1, 2013 posts for more details on Neptun’s complaint and the Notice of Investigation, respectively.  In Order No. 20, ALJ Shaw terminated the investigation as to Respondent Technical Consumer Products, Inc. based on a settlement agreement.  Thus, Maxlite, Satco, and Litetronics remained as respondents to the investigation.

On February 3, 2014, ALJ Shaw determined that Respondents importation and sale of certain reflector CFLs infringed asserted claims 1, 2, 10, and 11.  Respondents did not contest that the accused products satisfied the limitations of dependent claims 2, 10, and 11.  See our March 14, 2014 post for more details on the public version of the ID.

On February 18, 2014, Respondents petitioned the Commission for review of several of ALJ Shaw’s findings.  Neptun also petitioned for review of the ALJ’s finding that it failed to demonstrate specific investments in licensing activities under 337(a)(3)(C)—ALJ Shaw otherwise found that Neptun had satisfied the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement through plant and equipment, and labor and capital.

The Commission determined to review ALJ Shaw’s findings on the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement, the construction of the term “mating opening,” and the ALJ’s finding on infringement.

According to the notice, the Commission requested briefing from the parties on the following issues:

  • The portion of Neptun’s investments and expenditures associated with the articles protected by the ‘540 patent.
  • Whether Neptun’s investments and expenditures are “significant” under 337(a)(3)(A) and (B).
  • Whether Neptun made substantial investment in engineering or research and development under 337(a)(3)(C).
  • The proper construction of the term “mating opening.”
  • An explanation of how Respondents accused products satisfy (or do not satisfy) the claim limitations “said cavity having a first circumferential flange” and “the first circumferential flange of the reflector cavity.”
  • An explanation of how Respondents accused products satisfy (or do not satisfy) the claim limitation “said base being inside said defined cavity of said reflector and located inside said mating opening.”
  • An explanation of how Respondents accused products satisfy (or do not satisfy) the claim limitations “said base having a second circumferential flange” and “the second circumferential flange of the light source base.”

In addition, the Commission requested written submissions from the parties, interested government agencies, and any other interested persons on the form of remedy, if any, that should be ordered, the public interest factors associated with that determination, and bonding.

Written submissions are due by April 22, 2014, with reply submissions due by April 29, 2014.