A Moveable Update on the 1118 Investigation
Time to read: 2 minutes
In a prior blog post, we reported on the Remand Initial Determination (ID) in Certain Movable Barrier Operator Systems and Components Thereof (“Movable Barrier Operator Systems”), which found the economic prong satisfied. The remand was necessary because the Commission found that a prior economic prong ruling on summary determination was improperly granted by the ALJ. On December 3, 2020, the Commission affirmed the Remand ID. As a result, the Commission found a violation of section 337. The conclusion of the investigation came nearly 30 months after institution, meaning that this investigation took roughly twice as long as an average investigation.1
This uncharacteristic delay was caused by several factors, including a government shutdown that delayed the scheduled hearing by several months, but also because of the way the economic prong issue was handled.. Complainant had moved for summary determination on the economic prong on December 12, 2018. In June 2019, prior to the evidentiary hearing, the ALJ informed the parties that the motion would be granted, but didn’t actually issue the summary determination ruling until November 2019, at the same time as the final ID. Thus, the economic prong decision moved to the Commission review stage at the same time as all of the other issues decided at the hearing.
The Commission remanded the economic prong issue on April 22, 2020. After some additional briefing, the ALJ found the economic prong satisfied in a July 10, 2020 Remand ID. After another round of Commission review, including briefing by the parties on ten questions posed by the Commission,2 the Commission affirmed the finding that the domestic industry requirement was satisfied. After determining that the economic prong was satisfied, the Commission found a violation of Section 337 and issued limited exclusion orders and cease and desist orders against respondents.3
December 15, 2020
1 USITC, Section 337 Statistics: Average Length of Investigations, https://www.usitc.gov/intellectual_property/337_statistics_average_length_investigations.htm (Updated Oct. 16, 2020) (listing 15 months as the average investigation length in 2020).
2 85 Fed. Reg. 57,249-51 (Sept. 15, 2020) (including several subparts to these questions).
3 Comm’n Notice (Dec. 3, 2020)