The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain industrial automation systems and components thereof including control systems, controllers, visualization hardware, motion and motor control systems, networking equipment, safety devices, and power supplies. The products at issue in the investigation include components used in the complainant’s industrial automation systems that bear the complainant’s Allen-Bradley® trademarks and that use the complainant’s copyrighted software and firmware.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Rockwell Automation, Inc., of Milwaukee, WI, on September 6, 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 industrial automation systems and components thereof including control systems, controllers, visualization hardware, motion and motor control systems, networking equipment, safety devices, and power supplies that infringe trademarks and copyrights asserted by the complainant. Additionally, the complainant alleges that the proposed respondents engage in unfair methods of competition and unfair acts in acquiring and then importing into the United States products unlawfully obtained from the complainant’s authorized distributors. The complainant requests that the USITC issue a general exclusion order and cease and desist orders.
The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:
Can Electric Limited of Guangzhou, Guangdong, China;
Capnil (HK) Company Limited of Hong Kong;
Fractioni (Hongkong) Ltd. of Shanghai, China;
Fujian Dahong Trade Co., Ltd., of Fujian, China;
GreySolution Limited d/b/a Fibica of Hong Kong;
Huang Wei Feng d/b/a A-O-M Industry of Shenzhen, China;
KBS Electronics Suzhou Co., Ltd., of Shanghai, China;
PLC-VIP Shop d/b/a VIP Tech Limited of Hong Kong;
Radwell International, Inc., d/b/a PLC Center of Willingboro, NJ;
Shanghai EuoSource Electronic Co., Ltd., of Shanghai, China;
ShenZhen T-Tide Trading Co., Ltd., of Shenzhen, China;
SoBuy Commercial (HK) Co. Limited of Jiangsu, China;
Suzhou Yi Micro Optical Co., Ltd., d/b/a Suzhou Yiwei Guangxue Youxiangongsi d/b/a Easy Micro-optics Co. LTD. of Suzhou, Jiansu, China;
Wenzhou Sparker Group Co. Ltd., of Wenzhou, China; and
Yaspro Electronics (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., of Shanghai, China.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-1074), 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.