October 11, 2000
News Release 00-136
Inv. No. 337-TA-438

ITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION ON CERTAIN PLASTIC MOLDING MACHINES WITH CONTROL SYSTEMS HAVING PROGRAMMABLE OPERATOR INTERFACES INCORPORATING GENERAL PURPOSE COMPUTERS, AND COMPONENTS THEREOF

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain plastic molding machines with control systems having programmable operator interfaces incorporating general purpose computers, and components thereof. The products at issue in this investigation are molding machines that produce plastic products and, in doing so, utilize a general purpose digital computer.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Milacron Inc. of Cincinnati, OH, on September 8, 2000 and supplemented on September 25 and 27, 2000. The complaint, as supplemented, alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain plastic molding machines with control systems having programmable operator interfaces incorporating general purpose computers, and components thereof, that infringe a patent owned by Milacron. In its complaint, Milicron requests that the ITC issue a permanent exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order.

The ITC has identified the following companies as respondents in the investigation:

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-438), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The case will be referred to the Honorable Sidney Harris, an ITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. Judge Harris 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 ITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the ITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. ITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the President of the United States within that 60-day period.

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