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Notice

Certain Recordable Compact Discs and Rewritable Compact Discs; Notice of Commission Decision To Review Portions of an Initial Determination Finding No Violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930

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AGENCY:

U.S. International Trade Commission.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has determined to review portions of the presiding administrative law judge's (“ALJ's”) final initial determination (“ID”) and to affirm ALJ Order No. 32.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Clara Kuehn, Esq., Office of the General Counsel, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-3012. Copies of the public version of the ALJ's final 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 (http://www.usitc.gov). The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at http://edis.usitc.gov. Hearing-impaired persons are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on 202-205-1810.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Commission instituted this investigation on July 26, 2002, based on a complaint filed by U.S. Philips Corporation of Tarrytown, NY (“Philips” or “complainant”). 67 FR 48,948 (2002). The complaint, as supplemented, alleged violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain recordable compact discs and rewritable compact discs by reason of infringement of certain claims of six U.S. patents: claims 1, 5, and 6 of U.S. Patent No. 4,807,209; claim 11 of U.S. Patent No. 4,962,493; claims 1, 2, and 3 of U.S. Patent No. 4,972,401; claims 1, 3, and 4 of U.S. Patent No. 5,023,856; claims 1-5, and 6 of U.S. Patent No. 4,999,825; and claims 20, 23-33, and 34 of U.S. Patent No. 5,418,764. 67 FR 48,948 (2002).

The notice of investigation named 19 respondents, including GigaStorage Corporation Taiwan of Hsinchu, Taiwan; GigaStorage Corporation USA of Livermore, California (collectively, “GigaStorage”); and Linberg Enterprise Inc. (“Linberg”) of West Orange, New Jersey. 67 FR 48,948 (2002). On August 14, 2002, the ALJ issued an ID (Order No. 2) granting a motion to intervene as respondents by Princo Corporation of Hsin-Chu, Taiwan, and Princo America Corporation of Fremont, California (collectively, “Princo”). That ID was not reviewed by the Commission. GigaStorage, Linberg, and Princo (“respondents”) are the only remaining active respondents in this investigation. See ALJ Order No. 6 (an unreviewed ID terminating eight respondents on the basis of a consent order); ALJ Order No. 17 (an unreviewed ID terminating each of three respondents on the basis of a consent order and settlement agreement); ALJ Order No. 18 (an unreviewed ID terminating one respondent on the basis of a consent order and settlement agreement); and ALJ Order No. 21 (an unreviewed ID finding four respondents in default).

On April 7, 2003, the ALJ issued an ID (ALJ Order No. 20) granting complainant's unopposed motion for summary determination that Linberg, GigaStorage, and Princo have each sold for importation, imported, and/or sold after importation products accused of infringing one or more of the asserted patent claims. That ID was not reviewed by the Commission.

A tutorial session was held on June 3, 2003, and an evidentiary hearing was held from June 10, 2003, through June 20, 2003.

On June 30, 2003, the ALJ issued an order (ALJ Order No. 32) granting a motion in limine filed by respondents to preclude complainant from asserting the doctrine of unclean hands with respect to respondents' affirmative defense of patent misuse.

The ALJ issued his final ID on October 24, 2003. Although he found that none of the asserted claims are invalid, that the accused products infringe the asserted claims, and that the domestic industry requirement of section 337 has been satisfied, he found no violation of section 337 because he concluded that all of the asserted patents are unenforceable by reason of patent misuse.

On November 5, 2003, complainant Philips petitioned for review of the portion of the final ID that found the asserted patents unenforceable due to patent misuse, and also appealed ALJ Order No. 32. On the same day, respondents filed a paper entitled “Statement of Respondents Princo Corp., Princo America Corp., Gigastorage Corp. Taiwan, Gigastorage Corp. USA, and Linberg Enterprises, Inc. Regarding the Initial Determination,” in which respondents urged the Commission to adopt the ID in its entirety. Respondents and the IA filed responses to complainant's petition for review.

On December 8, 2003, the ALJ issued his recommended determination on remedy and bonding.

Having reviewed the record in this investigation, including the parties' written submissions, the Commission determined to affirm ALJ Order No. 32 and to review the ID's findings of fact and conclusions of law concerning patent misuse. The Commission has Start Printed Page 70037determined not to review the remainder of the ID, including the findings of fact and conclusions on the issues of infringement and invalidity of the asserted claims and the domestic industry requirement of section 337.

In connection with the 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 respondents 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, In the Matter of Certain Devices for Connecting Computers via Telephone Lines, Inv. No. 337-TA-360.

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 are requested to file written submissions on the issues under review. The submission should be concise and thoroughly referenced to the record in this investigation, including references to exhibits and testimony. Additionally, the parties to the investigation, interested government agencies, and any other interested persons are encouraged to file written submissions on the issues of remedy, the public interest, and bonding. Such submissions should address the ALJ's December 8, 2003, recommended determination on remedy and bonding. Complainant and the Commission investigative attorney are also requested to submit proposed remedial orders for the Commission's consideration. The written submissions and proposed remedial orders must be filed no later than the close of business on January 9, 2004. Reply submissions must be filed no later than the close of business on January 16, 2004. 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 will 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, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1337), and in sections 210.42-.45 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 210.42-.45).

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By order of the Commission.

Issued: December 10, 2003.

Marilyn R. Abbott,

Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 03-30970 Filed 12-15-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7020-02-P