On May 9, 2013, ALJ Charles E. Bullock issued the public version of Order No. 97 (dated April 23, 2013) in Certain Sintered Rare Earth Magnets, Methods of Making Same, and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-855).

According to the Order, Complainants Hitachi Metals, Ltd. and Hitachi Metals North Carolina, Ltd. (collectively, “Hitachi Metals”) moved to compel depositions from Respondent Yantai Zhenghai Magnetic Material Co., Ltd. (“Yantai”) and discovery responses from Respondents Yantai, Ningbo Jinji Strong Magnetic Material Co., Ltd. and Anhui Earth-Panda Advance Magnetic Material Co., Ltd. (collectively, “Respondents”). Hitachi Metals argued that it complied with Ground Rule 3.2 by providing notice to Respondents on March 22, 2013 and by meeting and conferring on March 24, 2013. In opposition, Respondents contended that Hitachi Metals failed to make a reasonable good-faith effort to resolve the issue. Specifically, Respondents asserted that Hitachi Metals simply informed Respondents that they were moving to compel.

ALJ Bullock found that Hitachi Metals failed to comply with Ground Rule 3.2. Specifically, the ALJ determined that Hitachi Metals should have met and conferred by March 22, 2013. ALJ Bullock stated that Hitachi Metals should have filed a motion requesting an extension of time or, in the alternative, a motion to requesting a waiver of Ground Rule 3.2. Accordingly, the motion was denied.