The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain single-molecule nucleic acid sequencing systems and reagents, consumables, and software for use with same. The products at issue in the investigation are devices and accessories for DNA sequencing.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc., of Menlo Park, CA, on October 31, 2016. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain single-molecule nucleic acid sequencing systems and reagents, consumables, and software for use with same that allegedly infringe a patent asserted by the complainant. The complainant requests that the USITC issue an exclusion order and a cease and desist order.
The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:
Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd. of Oxford Science Park, Oxford, United Kingdom;
Oxford Nanopore Technologies, Inc., of Cambridge, MA; and
Metrichor, Ltd., of Oxford Science Park, Oxford, United Kingdom.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-1032), the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The USITC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC’s administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ 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 USITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. USITC 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.