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NEWS RELEASE 01-016; February 6, 2001 February 6, 2001
News Release 01-016
Inv. No. 337-TA-449

ITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION ON CERTAIN ABRASIVE PRODUCTS MADE USING A PROCESS FOR MAKING POWDER PREFORMS AND PRODUCTS CONTAINING SAME

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain abrasive products made using a process for making powder preforms and products containing same. The products at issue in this investigation include a variety of abrasive products with embedded diamonds for cutting and polishing, including chemical-mechanical planarization pad conditioners used in connection with semiconductor fabrication.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co. (3M) of St. Paul, MN, and Ultimate Abrasive Systems, L.L.C., of Atlanta, GA., on January 5, 2001, and supplemented on January 18, 2001. 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 abrasive products made using a process for making powder preforms and products containing same that infringe a patent owned by Ultimate Abrasive Systems and licensed to 3M. The complainants request 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 this investigation:

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-449), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The case will be referred to the Honorable Debra Morriss, an ITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. Judge Morriss 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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