USITC Institutes Section 337 Investigation of Certain Thermoplastic Encapsulated Electric Motors, Components Thereof, and Products and Vehicles Containing Same

April 28, 2017
News Release 17-060
Inv. No. 337-TA-1052
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819
USITC Institutes Section 337 Investigation of Certain Thermoplastic Encapsulated Electric Motors, Components Thereof, and Products and Vehicles Containing Same

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain thermoplastic encapsulated electric motors, components thereof, and products and vehicles containing same.  The products at issue in the investigation are different types of electric motors or parts of electric motors that are encapsulated in a heat resistant plastic body or a body with heat resistant characteristics, which include motors (e.g., pumps in power steering units) used in various parts of automobiles (e.g., pumps in power steering units).

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Intellectual Ventures II LLC of Bellevue, WA, March 21, 2017.  The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain thermoplastic encapsulated electric motors, components thereof, and products and vehicles containing same that allegedly infringe patents asserted by the complainant.  The complainant requests that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

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

Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd., of Aichi, Japan;
Aisin Holdings of America, Inc., of Seymour, IN;
Aisin Technical Center of America, Inc., of Northville, MI;
Aisin World Corporation of America, of Northville, MI;
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, of Munich, Germany;
BMW of North America, LLC, of Woodcliff Lake, NJ;
BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC, of Greer, SC;
Denso Corporation of Aichi, Japan;
Denso International America, Inc., of Southfield, MI;
Honda Motor Co., Ltd., of Tokyo, Japan;
Honda North America, Inc., of Torrance, CA;
American Honda Motor Co., Inc., of Torrance, CA;
Honda of America Mfg., Inc., of Marysville, OH;
Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC, of Lincoln, AL;
Honda R&D Americas, Inc., of Torrance, CA;
Mitsuba Corporation of Gunma, Japan;
American Mitsuba Corporation, of Mount Pleasant, MI;
Nidec Corporation of Kyoto, Japan;
Nidec Automotive Motor Americas, LLC, of Auburn Hills, MI;
Toyota Motor Corporation, of Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan;
Toyota Motor North America, Inc., of New York, NY;
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., of Torrance, CA;
Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., of Erlanger, KY;
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana, Inc., of Princeton, IN; and
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc., of Georgetown, KY.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-1052), 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.

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