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USITC Institutes Section 337 Investigation of Certain Argon Plasma Coagulation System Probes, Their Components, and Other Argon Plasma Coagulation System Components for Use Therewith

November 4, 2019
News Release 19-110
Inv. No. 337-TA-1182
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819
USITC Institutes Section 337 Investigation of Certain Argon Plasma Coagulation System Probes, Their Components, and Other Argon Plasma Coagulation System Components for Use Therewith

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain argon plasma coagulation system probes, their components, and other argon plasma coagulation system components for use therewith.  The products at issue in the investigation are described in the Commission’s notice of investigation.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Erbe Elektromedizin GmbH of Tübingen, Republic of Germany, and Erbe USA, Inc., of Marietta, GA, on October 7, 2019.  The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain argon plasma coagulation system probes, their components, and other argon plasma coagulation system components for use therewith that infringe patents asserted by the complainants.  The complainants request that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

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

Olympus Corporation of Tokyo, Japan;
Olympus Corporation of the Americas of Center Valley, PA;
Olympus America, Inc., of Center Valley, PA;
Olympus Surgical Technologies Europe of Hamburg, Republic of Germany;
Olympus Winter & Ibe GmbH of Hamburg, Republic of Germany;
Olympus KeyMed Group Limited of Essex, United Kingdom;
KeyMed (Medical & Industrial Equipment) Ltd. of Essex, United Kingdom;
Olympus Bolton of Bolton, United Kingdom; and
Olympus Surgical Technologies Europe | Cardiff of Cardiff, United Kingdom.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-1182), 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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