On March 26, recently, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) decided to launch a Section 337 investigation into high-density fiber optic equipment and its components. It is reported that Shanghai State Road Communication Technology Co., Ltd., Shenzhen Baorui Optical Communication Co., Ltd. and Shenzhen Julei Technology Co., Ltd. are listed respondents.

The investigation was filed with the ITC on February 21 by Corning Optical Communications LLC under Section 337 of the U.S. Tariff Act of 1930, alleging that the above-mentioned products exported to, imported into, and sold in the U.S. infringed its patents, requesting The ITC issues general exclusion and restraining orders.

A 337 investigation refers to the practice of the US International Trade Commission to investigate unfair import practices and impose sanctions under Section 337 of the U.S. Tariff Act of 1930 (“Section 337”).

Pursuant to Section 337 of the U.S. Tariff Act of 1930, Section 337 investigates violations of U.S. intellectual property rights by imported products and other unfair competition in import trade. In practice, most of the Section 337 investigations involving infringement of US intellectual property rights are for patent or trademark infringement, and a few investigations also involve copyright, industrial design and integrated circuit layout design infringement. Other forms of unfair competition include infringement of trade secrets, counterfeiting, false advertising, and antitrust violations.

If the imported product infringes a valid intellectual property right in the United States, the owner of the intellectual property right (whether it is a U.S. business or a foreign business) can file a Section 337 investigation application with ITC and ask ITC to take relevant remedies.

In addition, the ITC will set an investigation closure period 45 days after the case is opened. Relief orders issued by the ITC in 337 cases are final on the 60th day after the date of issuance, except where USTR vetoes for policy reasons.

It is reported that since 2019, there have been about 15 “337 investigations” involving Chinese companies. They involve touch-sensitive mobile devices, computers and their components, specific catering processing equipment and their components, LED products, LED packaging products containing PFS phosphors, magnetoresistive aerobic training equipment, plastic floors, women’s fashion clothing, food processing equipment, Children’s backpacks, photovoltaic cells, integrated circuits and semiconductor devices, taurine.

On September 26, 2019, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) decided to launch two Section 337 investigations into semiconductor equipment and its downstream products, alleging that the above-mentioned products exported to, imported and sold in the U.S. infringed its patent rights. China TCL Group, Hisense Group, Lenovo Group and Shenzhen OnePlus Technology Co., Ltd. (One Plus) and other enterprises were involved in the case.

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