June 7, 1999
News Release 99-080
Inv. No. 337-TA-421


The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain enhanced DRAM devices containing embedded cache memory registers, components thereof, and products containing same. The enhanced DRAM devices at issue in this investigation, which utilize a combination of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) and static random access memory (SRAM) arrays on a single chip, are utilized in a variety of electronic devices, including personal computers, cellular phones, and calculators.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Enhanced Memory Systems, Inc. ("EMS"), of Colorado Springs, CO, on April 29, 1999. The complaint, as amended and 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 enhanced DRAM devices containing embedded cache memory registers, components thereof, and products containing same that infringe two U.S. patents owned by EMS. In its complaint, EMS requests that the ITC issue a permanent exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders.

With its complaint, EMS also filed a motion for temporary relief seeking a temporary exclusion order and temporary cease and desist orders prohibiting the importation into and the sale within the United States of the allegedly infringing products during the course of the ITC's investigation. EMS alleges that without temporary relief the domestic industry will suffer irreparable injury. The ITC has provisionally accepted EMS's motion for temporary relief and will rule upon it within 90 days after notice of investigation appears in the Federal Register, or within 150 days if the temporary relief phase of the investigation is declared more complicated.

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

NEC Corporation, of Tokyo, Japan;
NEC Electronics, Inc., of Santa Clara, CA; and
NEC USA, Inc., of Melville, NY.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-421), 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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