ITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION
ON CERTAIN SET-TOP BOXES AND COMPONENTS THEREOF
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain set-top boxes and components thereof. The products at issue in this investigation are electronic devices that are designed to provide a television user with an interactive program guide for searching through program schedule information and selecting programs for viewing or recording.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Gemstar-TV Guide International, Inc., of Pasadena, CA, and its subsidiary, StarSight Telecast, Inc., of Fremont, CA, on February 14, 2001, and supplemented on March 7, 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 set-top boxes and components thereof that infringe three patents owned by StarSight and one patent owned by Gemstar. 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-454), 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.