On July 14, 2016, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued Order No. 4 in Certain L-Tryptophan, L-Tryptophan Products, and Their Methods of Production (Inv. No. 337-TA-1005).

By way of background, this investigation is based on a May 10, 2016 complaint filed by Ajinomoto Co., Inc. and Ajinomoto Heartland Inc. alleging violation of Section 337 by way of unlawful importation into the U.S., selling for importation, and/or selling within the U.S. after importation certain L-tryptophan and L-tryptophan products that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,666,655 and 6,180,373. See our May 10, 2016 and June 13, 2016 posts for more details on the complaint and Notice of Investigation, respectively.

According to Order No. 4, ALJ Essex set October 16, 2017 as the target date for completing the investigation (which is approximately sixteen months after institution of the investigation). In addition, ALJ Essex directed the parties to submit proposed procedural schedules by July 21, 2016. ALJ Essex further noted that the evidentiary hearing in this investigation will commence on March 6, 2017; and any final initial determination should be filed no later than June 16, 2017.