On July 19, 2017, Wirtgen America, Inc. of Antioch, Tennessee (“Wirtgen”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.
The complaint alleges that Caterpillar Bitelli SpA of Italy, Caterpillar Prodotti Stradali S.r.L. of Italy, Caterpillar Americas CV of Switzerland, Caterpillar Paving Products, Inc. of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Caterpillar Inc. of Peoria, Illinois (collectively, “Caterpillar”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain road milling machines and components thereof that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 9,644,340 (the ’340 patent), 9,624,628 (the ’628 patent), 9,656,530 (the ’530 patent), 7,530,641 (the ’641 patent), and 7,828,309 (the ’309 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”).
According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to “cold milling” technology and the road milling machines that implement this technology. In particular, the ’340 patent relates to a road milling machine with a height-adjustable scraper that can swivel between an operating position and a raised position providing, for example, operator-access to the milling drum. The ’628 patent relates to a road milling machine with an auxiliary drive configured to rotate the milling drum at a low rate of speed, such that the cutting tools installed along the milling drum can be inspected, replaced, repaired, and/or cleaned in a quick and efficient manner. The ’530 patent relates to a road milling machine with height-adjustable lifting columns. The ’641 patent relates to road milling machine functionality such as milling drum uncoupling and alarms, each of which allegedly enable efficient and safe backwards driving. Lastly, the ’309 patent relates to a road milling machine with a chassis with four ground-engaging supports and four working cylinders, which are hydraulically interconnected in a manner that allegedly improves machine stability and milling operation.
In the complaint, Wirtgen states that Caterpillar imports and sells products that infringe the asserted patents. The complaint specifically refers to Caterpillar’s PM600 Series and PM800 Series cold planer machines as infringing products.
Regarding domestic industry, Wirtgen states that it conducts post-importation manufacturing, repair, service, technical support, warranty support, and training related to its products that practice the asserted patents at a facility in Tennessee. Wirtgen also states that its authorized dealers in the U.S. perform relevant training, service, and repair activities. Wirtgen further specifically states that various of its own road milling machines practice at least one claim of each of the asserted patents.
As to related litigation, Wirtgen states that on June 15, 2017, it filed suit against Caterpillar in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota alleging infringement of various patents, including the asserted patents. Wirtgen further states that on June 19, 2017, it filed suit against Caterpillar Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware alleging infringement of various patents, including the asserted patents. Lastly, Caterpillar refers to various opposition proceedings in Europe relating to foreign counterparts of the asserted patents.
With respect to potential remedy, Wirtgen requests that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders directed at Caterpillar and related entities.