On March 18, 2013, Chief ALJ Charles E. Bullock issued Order Nos. 81 (public) and 82 (public version not yet available) in Certain Sintered Rare Earth Magnets, Methods of Making Same, and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-855).
According to Order No. 81, Complainants Hitachi Metals, Ltd. and Hitachi Metals North Carolina, Ltd. (collectively, “Hitachi”) filed a motion to compel Respondent Precision Motors, Inc. to produce documents from Maxon Motor AG, a Swiss company, and to make Stephan Mueller, a Maxon Motor AG employee, available for deposition. Additionally, Hitachi filed a second motion seeking approval of a request for international judicial assistance in procuring the evidence from Maxon Motor AG.
In opposition to Hitachi’s Motion to Compel, the Ambassador of Switzerland, Manuel Sager, (“Swiss Ambassador”) submitted a letter to ALJ Bullock. The Swiss Ambassador strongly urged the use of the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters of March 18, 1970 (“Hague Convention”). The Swiss Ambassador noted that Switzerland has strict laws governing the collection of evidence. The Swiss Ambassador asserted that international judicial assistance via the Hague Convention permits the collection of evidence, in appropriate circumstances, that would otherwise violate the strict laws of Switzerland. Therefore, the Swiss Ambassador requested that ALJ Bullock require the use of international judicial assistance via the Hague Convention.
Upon consideration of the Swiss Ambassador’s letter, ALJ Bullock granted Hitachi’s motion for international judicial assistance, Order No. 82, and, accordingly, denied Hitachi’s Motion to Compel, Order No. 81, as moot.