USITC Begins Investigating List of Companies for Alleged Violation of Philips Lighting Patents

As a result of a patent infringement complaint from Philips Lighting filed on September 21, 2017, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to begin investigating certain LED lighting devices, LED power supplies, and LED lighting reflectors and optics.

Philips Lighting North America Corp. of Somerset, NJ, and Philips Lighting Holding B.V. of Eindhoven, Netherlands filed the original complaint. The complaint alleges breaches of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importating into the United States and selling particular LED lighting devices, LED power supplies, and LED lighting device components that infringe patents asserted by the complainants. The complainants ask that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order, as well as cease and desist orders.

The USITC has named the following as respondents in the investigation:

  • Feit Electric Company, Inc., of Pico Rivera, CA;
  • Feit Electric Company, Inc. (China), of Xiamen, China;
  • Lowe’s Companies, Inc., of Mooresville, NC;
  • L G Sourcing, Inc., of North Wilkesboro, NC;
  • MSi Lighting, Inc., of Boca Raton, FL;
  • Satco Products, Inc., of Brentwood, NY;
  • Topaz Lighting Corp. of Holtsville, NY;
  • Wangs Alliance Corporation d/b/a WAC Lighting Co. of Port Washington, NY; and
  • WAC Lighting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. of Shanghai, China.

The USITC pointed out in their announcement about beginning the investigation that by launching the investigation (337-TA-1081), the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case.

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As part of the legal process, the USITC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC’s administrative law judges (ALJ). Then, the ALJ will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. Then, the ALJ will make an initial determination about whether the respondents violated of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.

The USITC will issue a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time.

Within 45 days after institution of the November 3rd launch of the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for the completion of the investigation. USITC remedial orders for section 337 cases are effective immediately and become final 60 days after issuance unless the U.S. Trade Representative disapproves for policy reasons.