November 15, 1999
News Release 99-158
Inv. No. 337-TA-425

ITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION
ON CERTAIN AMINO FLUORO KETONE COMPOUNDS

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain amino fluoro ketone compounds. The products at issue in this investigation are used as research tools for biochemical and medical studies, primarily as protease inhibitors -- they selectively bind to and react with the active sites of serine and cysteine proteases, thereby inactivating the proteases.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Prototek, Inc., of Dublin, CA, and Enzyme Systems Products, Inc., of Livermore, CA, on October 12, 1999. 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 amino fluoro ketone compounds that infringe patents owned by Prototek and Enzyme Systems Products. In its complaint, the complainants request that the ITC issue a permanent general exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders.

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

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-425), 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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