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Certain Sortation Systems, Parts Thereof, and Products Containing Same; Commission Decision To Review Portions of a Final Initial Determination Finding a Violation of Section 337; Schedule for Filing Written Submissions on the Violation Issues Under Review and on Remedy, the Public Interest, and Bonding

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International Trade Commission.




Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has determined to review portions of the final initial determination issued by the presiding administrative law judge (ALJ) on October 22, 2002, finding a violation of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, in the above-captioned investigation.

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Michael K. Haldenstein, Esq., Office of the General Counsel, U.S. International Trade Commission, telephone 202-205-3041. Copies of the public version of the ID and all other nonconfidential documents filed in connection with this investigation are or will be available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone 202-205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its Internet server ( The public record for this investigation may also be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS-ON-LINE) at​Start Printed Page 77077eol.public. Hearing-impaired persons are advised that information on the matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on 202-205-1810.

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This patent-based section 337 investigation is before the Commission for a determination of whether to review, in whole or in part, the final initial determination (“ID”) of the presiding administrative law judge (“ALJ”), in which he found a violation of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended.

The Commission voted to institute this investigation on July 19, 2001, based upon a complaint filed on June 25, 2001, by Rapistan Systems Advertising Corp. and Siemens Dematic Corp., both of Grand Rapids, Michigan. 66 FR 38741 (July 25, 2001). Named as respondents were Vanderlande Industries Nederland BV of the Netherlands, and Vanderlande Industries of Atlanta, Georgia (collectively referred to as “Vanderlande”). Vanderlande Industries Nederland BV of the Netherlands designs and manufactures the accused sortation systems, and Vanderlande Industries of Atlanta imports, sells, and installs the accused sortation systems.

Complainants alleged that respondents had violated section 337 by importing into the United States, selling for importation, and selling within the United States after importation certain sortation systems, or components thereof, covered by independent claims 1, 13, 23, 30, and 42 and dependent claims 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 17, 18, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29, 33, 35, 36, 37, 39, 43, 45, 46, 47, and 49 of U.S. Patent No. 5,127, 510 (“the ‘510 patent”), owned by Rapistan Systems and exclusively licensed to Siemens Dematic. On April 5, 2002, complainants filed an unopposed motion asking for the termination of the investigation with respect to claims 2, 3, 8, 9, 18, 24, 36, 37, 29, 46, 47, and 49. On May 16, 2002, the ALJ granted the motion in an ID (Order No. 32) and the Commission determined not to review that ID. The claims of the ‘510 patent at issue are therefore claims 1, 4, 13, 17, 20, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30, 33, 35, 42, 43, and 45. The complaint further alleged that an industry in the United States exists, as required by subsection (a)(2) of section 337.

An evidentiary hearing was held on June 4-17, 2002. On October 22, 2002, the ALJ issued his final ID, in which he determined that respondents’ sortation systems, and parts thereof, infringe claims 1 and 4 of the ‘510 patent, and that the ‘510 patent is valid and enforceable. Based upon these findings, he found a violation of section 337.

The ALJ recommended issuance of a limited exclusion order barring importation of the accused Mark 2 Posisorter and its parts and components. He recommended excluding spare parts destined for UPS’s Hub 2000 facility in Louisville, Kentucky from the scope of the limited exclusion order. He also recommended a bond during the Presidential review period in the amount of 100 percent of the entered value of the infringing products.

On November 4, 2002, Vanderlande and the IA petitioned for review of the ALJ's final ID, and Rapistan submitted a contingent petition for review asking that the Commission review certain issues if it decided to review the ID. On November 12, 2002, Vanderlande, Rapistan, and the IA filed reply submissions.

Having reviewed the record in this investigation, including the parties' written submissions, the Commission has determined to review the ID on the following issues: (1) The ID's construction of the element “contiguous, generally planar surfaces sloping downward from an upper extent of said diverting surface laterally inward and longitudinally forward or rearward” in independent claim 30, and dependent claims 33, and 35, and the infringement findings related to this claim element; and (2) the ID's findings regarding the elements of equitable estoppel.

In connection with final disposition of this investigation, the Commission may issue (1) an order that could result in the exclusion of the subject articles from entry into the United States, and/or (2) cease and desist orders that could result in Vanderlande being required to cease and desist from engaging in unfair acts in the importation and sale of such articles. Accordingly, the Commission is interested in receiving written submissions that address the form of remedy, if any, that should be ordered. If a party seeks exclusion of an article from entry into the United States for purposes other than entry for consumption, the party should so indicate and provide information establishing that activities involving other types of entry either are adversely affecting it or are likely to do so. For background information, see the Commission Opinion, Certain Devices for Connecting Computers via Telephone Lines, Inv. No. 337-TA-360, USITC Publication 2843 (Dec. 1994).

If the Commission contemplates some form of remedy, it must consider the effects of that remedy upon the public interest. The factors the Commission will consider include the effect that an exclusion order and/or cease and desist orders would have on (1) The public health and welfare, (2) competitive conditions in the U.S. economy, (3) U.S. production of articles that are like or directly competitive with those that are subject to investigation, and (4) U.S. consumers. The Commission is therefore interested in receiving written submissions that address the aforementioned public interest factors in the context of this investigation.

If the Commission orders some form of remedy, the President has 60 days to approve or disapprove the Commission's action. During this period, the subject articles would be entitled to enter the United States under a bond, in an amount to be determined by the Commission and prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury. The Commission is therefore interested in receiving submissions concerning the amount of the bond that should be imposed.

Written Submissions: The parties to the investigation, interested government agencies, and any other interested parties are encouraged to file written submissions on the violation issues under review, and on the issues of remedy, the public interest, and bonding. Such submissions should address the recommended determination by the ALJ on remedy and bonding and the ALJ's conclusions concerning the two violation issues. Complainant and the IA are also requested to submit proposed remedial orders for the Commission's consideration. Written submissions and proposed remedial orders must be filed no later than the close of business on December 23, 2002. Reply submissions must be filed no later than the close of business on December 30, 2002. No further submissions will be permitted unless otherwise ordered by the Commission.

Persons filing written submissions must file with the Office of the Secretary the original and 14 true copies thereof on or before the deadlines stated above. Any person desiring to submit a document (or portion thereof) to the Commission in confidence must request confidential treatment unless the information has already been granted such treatment during the proceedings. All such requests should be directed to the Secretary of the Commission and must include a full statement of the reasons why the Commission should grant such treatment. See 19 CFR 201.6. Documents for which confidential treatment is granted by the Commission will be treated accordingly. All nonconfidential written submissions Start Printed Page 77078will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Secretary.

This action is taken under the authority of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, 19 U.S.C. 1337, and sections 210.42, 210.43, 210.45, and 210.50 of the Commission's rules of practice and procedure, 19 CFR 210.42, 210.43, 210.45, and 210.50.

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Issued: December 11, 2002.

By order of the Commission.

Marilyn R. Abbott,


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[FR Doc. 02-31621 Filed 12-13-02; 8:45 am]