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NEWS RELEASE 99-001; JANUARY 5, 1999 January 5, 1999
News Release 99-001
Inv. No. 337-TA-417

ITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION ON CERTAIN CODE HOPPING REMOTE CONTROL SYSTEMS, INCLUDING COMPONENTS AND INTEGRATED CIRCUITS USED THEREIN

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain code hopping remote control systems, including components and integrated circuits used therein. The products at issue in this investigation are security systems for the remote control of locking devices such as those used for garage and automobile doors.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Microchip Technology Inc. of Chandler, Arizona, on December 1, 1998. A supplement was filed on December 21, 1998. The complaint, as supplemented, alleges 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 code hopping remote control systems, including components and integrated circuits used therein that infringe a U.S. patent owned by Microchip Technology Inc. In its complaint, Microchip Technology Inc. requests that the ITC issue a permanent exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders barring the importation into and sale within the United States of the allegedly infringing products.

The ITC has identified the following companies as respondents in the investigation:

Chamberlain Group Inc., of Elmhurst, IL, and
Sears Roebuck & Company, of Hoffmann Estates, IL.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-417), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The case will be referred to an ITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The administrative law judge will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.

The ITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the ITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. ITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the President of the United States within that 60-day period.

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