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USITC quashes Canon complaints

March 15, 2019

The United States International Trade Commission has ruled against the OEM, throwing out its dispute with a series of aftermarket companies, following the Markman ruling of non-infringement earlier this month.

In legal documents seen by The Recycler, Administrative Law Judge Dee Lord granted the motions for summary determination of non-infringement by Aster, Ninestar, and Print-Rite.

As a result of this decision, Canon’s own motion, for summary determination of infringement, and Ninestar’s motion for summary determination of invalidity, were both denied as moot.

The dismissal of Canon’s arguments brings an end to the investigation, which was set in motion with Canon’s original onslaught of IP-related lawsuits a year ago. In the intervening twelve months, the OEM has pursued countless companies on the grounds of patent infringement, but this decision from the USITC looks set to bring that to a close.

“As the ruling on the motions for summary determination of non-infringement is dispositive as to Ninestar, Aster, and Print-Rite, and the remaining respondents have been found in default, the investigation is terminated in its entirety,” wrote Judge Lord.

Canon had originally argued that the defendants were guilty of infringing a number of its patents, namely US Patent Numbers 9,746,826; 9,836,021; 9,841,729; 9,857,764; 9,857,765; 9,869,960; 9,874,846; 9,841,727; and 9,841,728.

Since the initial filings, Canon withdrew the complaints based upon the ‘727 and ‘728 patents, and withdrew its allegations based upon certain claims of the remaining patents. However, several disputes stayed in place, which have now been dismissed by the USITC.

All three defendants filed motions for summary determination of non-infringement, with the OEM responding with a motion for summary determination of infringement. In response to this, Ninestar filed another motion, for summary determination of invalidity, of Canon’s patent claims.

“With respect to Canon’s motion for summary determination of infringement and Ninestar’s motion for summary determination of invalidity, these motions were premised on the claims being construed so as to not require a coupling member than can pivot between two angular positions,” Judge Lord wrote. “Canon and Ninestar agree that these motions have been rendered moot by the construction of the “movable” limitation adopted in Order No. 38. Joint Submission at 3.”

“For the foregoing reasons, I find that Ninestar, Print-Rite, and Aster are entitled to summary determination of non-infringement.”

“Because Canon has not shown a violation of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, with respect to Ninestar, Print-Rite, and Aster and the other named respondents have been found in default, I hereby terminate the investigation in its entirety.”

This Initial Determination will automatically become a Final Determination of the ITC Commission, unless a party files a petition for review within 45 days after the Initial Determination is issued.

In response to the determination, Aster said it was “fully prepared for any possible following proceedings and will continue supplying its customers with its IP-compliant products to benefit and protect its customers.”

 

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