June 23, 1999
News Release 99-086
Inv. No. 337-TA-423


The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain conductive coated abrasives. The product at issue in this investigation is sandpaper specially designed for industrial use, such as in the commercial woodworking industry.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M) of St. Paul, MN, on May 25, 1999. A supplement to the complaint was filed on June 16, 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 conductive coated abrasives that infringe a U.S. patent owned by 3M. In its complaint, 3M requests that the ITC issue a permanent 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-423), 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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