On July 25, 2014 Valeo North America, Inc. of Troy, Michigan and Delmex de Juarez S. de R.L. de C.V. of Mexico (collectively, “Valeo”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.  Please note that Oblon Spivak represents Valeo in this matter.

The complaint alleges that Federal-Mogul Corp. of Southfield, Michigan, Federal-Mogul Vehicle Component Solutions, Inc. of Southfield, Michigan, and Federal-Mogul S.A. of Belgium (collectively, “Federal-Mogul”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain windshield wipers and components thereof that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,891,044 (the ‘044 patent); 7,937,798 (the ‘798 patent); and 8,220,106 (the ‘106 patent) (collectively, “the asserted patents”).

According to the complaint, the asserted patents relate generally to automotive windshield wipers.  These wipers include a special connector that detachably links a wiper blade with a driven wiper arm allowing for the blade to be manually attached or detached from the wiper arm for installation or replacement.  In the complaint, Valeo states that Federal-Mogul imports and sells products that infringe the asserted patents.

Regarding domestic industry, Valeo states that it has made significant investments in plant and equipment and significant employment of labor and capital in the U.S. devoted to research and development, engineering, quality management, technical support, field training, and service.  Valeo notes its facilities in Troy, Michigan; El Paso, Texas; Hampton, Virginia; and Santa Fe Springs, California.

As to related litigation, Valeo states that it previously asserted the ‘044, ‘798, and ‘106 patents against Federal-Mogul Corp. and Federal-Mogul Vehicle Component Solutions, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.  According to the complaint, the same day, Federal-Mogul Corp. and Federal-Mogul Vehicle Component Solutions, Inc. filed a declaratory judgment action against Valeo in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, alleging non-infringement and invalidity of the asserted patents.  Valeo’s Texas case was subsequently transferred to Michigan, and both cases remain pending.  The complaint further notes other litigation outside of the U.S. between the parties.

With respect to potential remedy, Valeo requests that the Commission issue a permanent limited exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders directed at Federal-Mogul.