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In the Matter of Certain Ink Cartridges and Components Thereof; Notice of Institution of Formal Enforcement Proceeding

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U.S. International Trade Commission.




Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has instituted a formal enforcement proceeding relating to exclusion orders and cease and desist orders issued at the conclusion of the above-captioned investigation.

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Michael Haldenstein, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-3041. Copies of all 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 be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at​. Hearing-impaired persons are advised that information on Start Printed Page 25769the matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on 202-205-1810.

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The Commission instituted this investigation on March 23, 2006, based on a complaint filed by Epson Portland, Inc. of Oregon; Epson America, Inc. of California; and Seiko Epson Corporation of Japan (collectively “Epson”). 71 FR 14720 (March 23, 2006). The complaint, as amended, alleged violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (“section 337”) in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain ink cartridges and components thereof by reason of infringement of claim 7 of U.S. Patent No. 5,615,957; claims 18, 81, 93, 149, 164 and 165 of U.S. Patent No. 5,622,439; claims 83 and 84 of U.S. Patent No. 5,158,377; claims 19 and 20 of U.S. Patent No. 5,221,148; claims 29, 31, 34 and 38 of U.S. Patent No. 5,156,472; claim 1 of U.S. Patent No. 5,488,401; claims 1-3 and 9 of U.S. Patent No. 6,502,917; claims 1, 31 and 34 of U.S. Patent No. 6,550,902; claims 1, 10 and 14 of U.S. Patent No. 6,955,422; claim 1 of U.S. Patent No. 7,008,053; and claims 21, 45, 53 and 54 of U.S. Patent No. 7,011,397. The complaint further alleged that an industry in the United States exists as required by subsection (a)(2) of section 337. The complainants requested that the Commission issue a general exclusion order and cease and desist orders. The Commission named as respondents 24 companies located in China, Germany, Hong Kong, Korea, and the United States. Several respondents were terminated from the investigation on the basis of settlement agreements or consent orders or were found in default.

On March 30, 2007, the presiding ALJ (Judge Luckern) issued a final ID in the investigation finding a violation of section 337 with respect to certain respondents. He found the asserted claims valid and infringement by certain respondents' products. He recommended issuance of a general exclusion order and cease and desist orders directed to certain respondents and bond in the amount of $13.60 per cartridge during the Presidential review period.

On October, 19, 2007, after review, the Commission made its final determination in the investigation, finding a violation of section 337. The Commission issued a general exclusion order, limited exclusion order, and cease and desist orders directed to several domestic respondents. The Commission also determined that the public interest factors enumerated in 19 U.S.C. 1337(d), (f), and (g) did not preclude issuance of the aforementioned remedial orders, and that the bond during the Presidential review period would be $13.60 per cartridge for covered ink cartridges.

On February 8, 2008, complainant Epson filed two complaints seeking enforcement proceedings under Commission Rule 210.75. One complaint alleges that Ninestar Technology Co., Ltd.; Ninestar Technology Company, Ltd.; and Town Sky Inc. have violated the general exclusion order and that Ninestar Technology Company, Ltd. and Town Sky Inc. have violated the cease and desist orders directed to them. Epson's second complaint alleges that Mipo International Ltd. and Mipo America, Ltd. have violated the general and limited exclusion orders and that Mipo America, Ltd. has violated the cease and desist order directed to it.

Having examined the complaints seeking a formal enforcement proceeding, and having found that the complaints comply with the requirements for institution of a formal enforcement proceeding contained in Commission rule 210.75, the Commission has determined to institute a consolidated formal enforcement proceeding to determine whether the five respondents are in violation of the Commission's exclusion orders and cease and desist orders issued in the investigation, and what, if any, enforcement measures are appropriate. The following entities are named as parties to the formal enforcement proceeding: (1) Complainant Epson, (2) respondents (Ninestar Technology Co., Ltd.; Ninestar Technology Company, Ltd.; Town Sky Inc.; Mipo America Ltd., and Mipo International, Ltd.) and (3) a Commission investigative attorney to be designated by the Director, Office of Unfair Import Investigations.

The authority for the Commission's determination is contained in section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1337), and in section 210.75 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 210.75).

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Issued: May 1, 2008.

By order of the Commission.

Marilyn R. Abbott,

Secretary to the Commission.

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[FR Doc. E8-9984 Filed 5-6-08; 8:45 am]