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Notice

Certain Foam Footwear; Institution of an Advisory Opinion Proceeding

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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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 institute an advisory opinion proceeding in the above-captioned investigation.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Clint Gerdine, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 708-2310. Copies of non-confidential 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 at 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 May 11, 2006, based on a complaint, as amended, filed by Crocs, Inc. (“Crocs”) of Niwot, Colorado. 71 FR 27514-15 (May 11, 2006). The complaint alleged, inter alia, violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1337), in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain foam footwear, by reason of infringement of claims 1-2 of U.S. Patent No. 6,993,858 (“the '858 patent”) and U.S. Patent No. D517,789 (“the '789 patent”). The notice of investigation named several respondents including Double Diamond Distribution Ltd. (“Double Diamond”) of Saskatoon, Canada.

On July 25, 2008, the Commission issued its final determination finding no violation of section 337 based on non-infringement and non-satisfaction of the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement with respect to the '789 patent, and invalidity of the '858 patent as obvious under 35 U.S.C. 103. 73 FR 45073-74 (Aug. 1, 2008). On July 15, 2011, after an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and subsequent remand vacating the Commission's previous finding of no violation, the Commission found a violation of section 337 based on infringement of the asserted claims of the patents and issued a general exclusion order and, inter alia, a cease and desist order directed against Double Diamond. 76 FR 43723-24 (July 21, 2011).

On July 12, 2016, Double Diamond and U.S.A. Dawgs, Inc. (“USA Dawgs”) of Las Vegas, Nevada (collectively, the “requesters”) petitioned for institution of an advisory opinion proceeding as to whether their Fleece Dawgs footwear is covered by the general exclusion order or cease and desist order directed against Double Diamond. No responses were filed.

The Commission has determined that requesters' petition complies with the requirements for institution of an advisory opinion proceeding under Commission Rule 210.79 to determine whether their Fleece Dawgs footwear infringes the '789 patent or claims 1 or 2 of the '858 patent. Accordingly, the Commission has determined to institute an advisory opinion proceeding and refer requesters' petition to the Office of Unfair Import Investigations (“OUII”). The parties will furnish OUII with information as requested, and OUII shall investigate and issue a report to the Commission within ninety (90) days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. The Commission will issue an advisory opinion within 45 days of receipt of OUII's written report. The following entities are named as parties to the proceeding: (1) Crocs; (2) Double Diamond; and (3) USA Dawgs.

The authority for the Commission's determination is contained in sections 335 and 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1335, 1337), and in Part 210 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR part 210).

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By Order of the Commission.

Issued: August 11, 2016.

Lisa R. Barton,

Secretary to the Commission.

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[FR Doc. 2016-19561 Filed 8-16-16; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7020-02-P