December 27, 2007
News Release 07-133
Inv. No. 337-TA-626
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819


The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain noise cancelling headphones. The products at issue in this investigation are headphones that have features that reduce ambient noise, which are most often used to improve the experience of listening to an audio source.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Bose Corporation of Framingham, MA, on November 29, 2007 and a supplement filed on December 20, 2007. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States of certain noise cancelling headphones that allegedly infringe patents owned by Bose. The complainant requests that the ITC issue an exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

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

Phitek Systems Limited of New Zealand;
Phitek Systems Limited of San Jose, CA;
GN Netcom, Inc., of Nashua, NH;
Audio Technica U.S., Inc., of Stow, OH;
Creative Labs, Inc., of Milpitas, CA;
Logitech Inc. of Fremont, CA; and
Panasonic Corporation of North America.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-626), 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 U.S. Trade Representative within that 60-day period.

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