4 August 2021TrademarksMuireann Bolger

Corning wins USITC ban of fibre optic imports

Optics tech company Corning has succeeded in barring US imports of rival high density fibre optic equipment after the International US International Trade Commission (USITC) upheld a ruling that the US company’s IP rights had been infringed by multiple competitors.

The commission handed down the decision yesterday, August 3, affirming an earlier judgment by ITC judge, David Shaw, who found in March that, Leviton, Panduit, LAN Wirewerks, and Siemon had violated at least three of four of Corning’s patent rights.

The investigation was based on a complaint filed by Corning on February 21, 2020, alleging violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 regarding the importation into the US and sale of certain high-density fibre optic equipment and components.

Corning contended that the named companies had infringed claims in US patent numbers: 9,020,320; 8,712,206; 10,120,153; 10,094,996; and 10,444,456, which cover the equipment used to connect switches and servers in data centres.

Corning had requested that the USITC issue a general exclusion order, or alternatively issue a limited exclusion order, and cease and desist orders.

Corning insisted that many of the rival products were sold with generic packaging and “private label services”, leading to the false assumption that the products were authorised by Corning.

In May, the commission agreed to review the judge’s findings that Corning’s patent rights were violated.

According to the agency, the commission sought to satisfy legal arguments on eight questions relating to infringement, importation, the intention of the design of the allegedly infringing products, and whether Corning had met the necessary domestic industry requirements to file the complaint.

On Tuesday, the commission determined that the March judgment should stand.

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