August 11, 2004
News Release 04-089
Inv. No. 337-TA-520

ITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION ON CERTAIN DIGITAL IMAGE STORAGE AND RETRIEVAL DEVICES

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain digital image storage and retrieval devices. The products at issue include digital cameras and cellular phones with digital image capabilities.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Ampex Corporation of Redwood City, CA, on July 12, 2004, alleging 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 digital image storage and retrieval devices that infringe a patent owned by Ampex. The complainant requests that the ITC issue a general exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order.

The ITC has identified Sony Corporation of Tokyo, Japan, as the respondent in this investigation.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-520), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The case will be referred to the Honorable Charles E. Bullock, an ITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. Judge Bullock 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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