On June 30, 2017, 3M Company and 3M Innovative Properties Company (collectively, “3M”)—both of St. Paul, Minnesota—filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.
The complaint alleges that Amphenol Corp. of Wallingford, Connecticut, Amphenol Interconnect Products Corp. of Endicott, New York, Amphenol Cables on Demand Corp. of Endicott, New York, Amphenol Assemble Technology (Xiamen) Co., Ltd. of China, Amphenol (Xiamen) High Speed Cable Co., Ltd. of China, and Amphenol East Asia Limited (Taiwan) of Taiwan (collectively, “Amphenol”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain shielded electrical ribbon cables and products containing the same that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 8,933,333 (the ’333 patent), 9,601,236 (the ’236 patent), and 9,627,106 (the ’106 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”).
According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to high performance, shielded ribbon cables for data transmission. In particular, the ’333 patent relates to shielded electrical ribbon cables that may be bent at various angles without losing the integrity of the electrical signal. The ’236 patent relates to shielded electrical ribbon cables with specific physical dimensions. Lastly, the ’106 patent relates to shielded electrical ribbon cables with specific physical dimensions and electrical properties.
In the complaint, 3M states that Amphenol imports and sells products that infringe the asserted patents. The complaint specifically refers to various shielded electrical ribbon cables marked as “Made in China” as infringing products.
Regarding domestic industry, 3M states that the technology of the asserted patents is widely incorporated into 3M’s own shielded electrical ribbon cable products. 3M further states that it conducts relevant research, development, design, manufacturing, testing, technical support, and other activities in the U.S. relating to its products that practice the asserted patents.
As to related litigation, 3M refers to a pending litigation in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware where it is accusing Amphenol of infringing the asserted patents.
With respect to potential remedy, 3M requests that the Commission issue a permanent general exclusion order, a permanent limited exclusion order, and a permanent cease and desist order directed at Amphenol and related entities. 3M states that a general exclusion order is warranted because it believes that numerous entities other than Amphenol are also importing, selling for importation, and/or selling within the U.S. after importation certain shielded electrical ribbon cables, these cables travel through complex distribution networks that frequently involve multiple unknown intermediaries, and it is extremely difficult to identify the sources of all infringing cables.