U.S. International Trade Commission.
Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission (“Commission”) has determined not to review an initial determination (“ID”) (Order No. 7) finding Ningbo Linhua Plastic Co., Ltd. (“Ningbo”), the last remaining respondent, in default. Accordingly, the Commission requests written submissions from the parties, interested government agencies, and interested persons on the issues of remedy, the public interest, and bonding, under the schedule set forth below.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Amanda Fisherow, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2737. Copies of non-confidential documents filed in connection with this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov. For help accessing EDIS, please email EDIS3Help@usitc.gov. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server at https://www.usitc.gov. Hearing-impaired persons are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal, telephone 202-205-1810.
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The Commission instituted this investigation on June 23, 2020, based on a complaint filed by Clearly Clean Products, LLC of South Windsor, Connecticut and Converter Manufacturing, LLC of Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania (“Complainants”). 85 FR 37689-90 (June 23, 2020). The complaint alleges a violation of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. 1337 (“section 337”), by reason of infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 9,908,281 and 10,562,680. The notice of investigation named the following respondents: Eco Food Pak (USA), Inc. of Chino, California and Ningbo Linhua Plastic Co., Ltd. of Fenghua, China (“Ningbo”). The Commission's Office of Unfair Import Investigations (“OUII”) also was named as a party.
The complaint and notice of investigation were served on Ningbo on July 7, 2020. On August 20, 2020, Complainants filed a motion for an order to show cause why Ningbo should not be found in default for failing to respond to the complaint and notice of investigation. On September 8, 2020, the ALJ ordered Ningbo to show cause why it should not be found in default and Ningbo did not file a response.
On October 6, 2020, the ALJ issued the subject ID (Order No. 7) finding Ningbo in default. The ID notes that Ningbo is the last remaining respondent and the ID terminates the investigation. No party petitioned for review of the ID.
The Commission has determined not to review the ID. Ningbo is in default.
Ningbo is the sole remaining respondent in this investigation. Section 337(g)(1) and Commission Rule 210.16(c) authorize the Commission to order relief against a respondent found in default, unless, after considering the public interest, it finds that such relief should not issue.
In connection with the final disposition of this investigation, the statute authorizes issuance of, inter alia, (1) an exclusion order that could result in the exclusion of the subject articles from entry into the United States; and/or (2) a cease and desist order that could result in the respondent 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 likely to do so. For background, see Certain Devices for Connecting Computers via Telephone Lines, Inv. No. 337-TA-360, USITC Pub. No. 2843, Comm'n Op. at 7-10 (Dec. 1994).
The statute requires the Commission to consider the effects of that remedy upon the public interest. The public interest 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 Start Printed Page 67567subject 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 U.S. Trade Representative, as delegated by the President, has 60 days to approve, disapprove, or take no action on the Commission's determination. See Presidential Memorandum of July 21, 2005, 70 FR 43251 (July 26, 2005). During this period, the subject articles would be entitled to enter the United States under bond, in an amount 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 if a remedy is ordered.
Written Submissions: Parties to the investigation, interested government agencies, and any other interested parties are encouraged to file written submissions on the issues of remedy, the public interest, and bonding.
In their initial submissions, Complainants are also requested to identify the remedy sought and Complainants and OUII are requested to submit proposed remedial orders for the Commission's consideration. Complainants are further requested to state the dates that the Asserted Patents expire, to provide the HTSUS subheadings under which the accused products are imported, and to supply the identification information for all known importers of the products at issue in this investigation. The initial written submissions and proposed remedial orders must be filed no later than close of business on November 3, 2020. Reply submissions must be filed no later than the close of business on November 10, 2020. Opening submissions are limited to 15 pages. Reply submissions are limited to 10 pages. No further submissions on any of these issues will be permitted unless otherwise ordered by the Commission.
Persons filing written submissions must file the original document electronically on or before the deadlines stated above. The Commission's paper filing requirements in 19 CFR 210.4(f) are currently waived. 85 FR 15798 (March 19, 2020). Submissions should refer to the investigation number (Inv. No. 337-TA-1203) in a prominent place on the cover page and/or the first page. (See Handbook for Electronic Filing Procedures, https://www.usitc.gov/documents/handbook_on_filing_procedures.pdf). Persons with questions regarding filing should contact the Secretary, (202) 205-2000.
Any person desiring to submit a document to the Commission in confidence must request confidential treatment. All such requests should be directed to the Secretary to 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 by the Commission is properly sought will be treated accordingly. A redacted non-confidential version of the document must also be filed simultaneously with any confidential filing. All information, including confidential business information and documents for which confidential treatment is properly sought, submitted to the Commission for purposes of this investigation may be disclosed to and used: (i) By the Commission, its employees and Offices, and contract personnel (a) for developing or maintaining the records of this or a related proceeding, or (b) in internal investigations, audits, reviews, and evaluations relating to the programs, personnel, and operations of the Commission including under 5 U.S.C. Appendix 3; or (ii) by U.S. government employees and contract personnel, solely for cybersecurity purposes. All contract personnel will sign appropriate nondisclosure agreements. All nonconfidential written submissions will be available for public inspection on EDIS.
The Commission vote for this determination took place on October 20, 2020.
While temporary remote operating procedures are in place in response to COVID-19, the Office of the Secretary is not able to serve parties that have not retained counsel or otherwise provided a point of contact for electronic service. Accordingly, pursuant to Commission Rules 201.16(a) and 210.7(a)(1) (19 CFR 201.16(a), 210.7(a)(1)), the Commission orders that the Complainants complete service for any party/parties without a method of electronic service noted on the attached Certificate of Service and shall file proof of service on the Electronic Document Information System (EDIS).
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 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: October 20, 2020.
Secretary to the Commission.
[FR Doc. 2020-23548 Filed 10-22-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7020-02-P