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USITC closes lid on Brother v Aster spat

September 10, 2020

Earlier in July, Administrative Law Judge Clark S. Cheney (ALJ) recommended that the Commission issue a general exclusion order and various cease-and-desist orders following Brother’s complaint to the USITC.

Aster responded to the initial determination (ID) of Administrative Law Judge Clark S. Cheney, requesting that its newly designed cartridges specifically get excluded from any of the GEOs, LEOs or CDOs issued by the USITC.

Within days of Aster issuing the statement to the USITC, Brother responded with a motion to strike Aster Graphics, Inc.’s statement. Brother requests that “the Commission strike Respondent Aster Graphic’s Statement on the Public Interest (“Aster’s PI Statement”) (EDIS Doc ID 717995) for failure to comply with Commission Rule 210.50.”

The Office of Unfair Import Investigations (OUII) now filed its response to Brother’s Motion to Strike Aster’s the Statement of Public Interest.

The OUII stated that “that there is no real dispute between Aster and Brother regarding whether Aster is entitled to an affirmative finding of non-infringement for its newly designed products,” and finds that “Aster’s PI Statement makes it clear that Aster simply wants its newly designed products to be treated in the same manner as the other respondents’ newly designed products.”

In its conclusion, the OUII said that “Brother’s motion should be denied because policing public interest statements wastes the commission’s time and resources”. The OUII added: “Under these circumstances, Brother’s Motion should be denied in its entirety. As discussed above, there is no dispute between the parties that requires resolution. Additionally, OUII submits that the Commission should not begin to police parties’ public interest statements to try to determine what is a legitimate public interest issue and what is not.”

Following the OUII response, the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) responded: “Notice is hereby given that, on July 23, 2020, the presiding administrative law judge (“ALJ”) issued an initial determination (“ID”) (Order No. 40) in the above-captioned investigation, granting summary determination on violation of section 337 and including a recommended determination (“RD”) on remedy and bonding. The Commission has determined not to review the ID.”

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