Under a general exclusion order, even a company that is not named in a complaint at the US International Trade Commission (ITC) can have its products seized by US Customs if infringement by other companies’ products is found. As a result, even manufacturers who are not party to the investigation may nevertheless discover that their products are subject to exclusion. Some companies, after learning that many of their competitors have been named in an ITC proceeding, have invested millions of dollars increasing production of goods imported into the US only later to realise that they have also been sued (but not named) and their products can be seized by US Customs.
On 30 December 2013, memory chip manufacturer Macronix International Co Ltd and Macronix America Inc (collectively Macronix) filed a complaint at the ITC seeking, among other things, a general exclusion order barring the importation of products, allegedly infringing three of its US patents covering certain non-volatile memory (NVM) devices.
The named respondents are Spansion Inc, Spansion LLC and Spansion (Thailand) Ltd (collectively Spansion) along with Spansion’s downstream customers Delphi Automotive Systems LLC, Beats Electronics LLC, Harman International Industries Inc, Harman Becker Automotive Systems Inc, Harman Becker Automotive GmbH, Ruckus Wireless Inc and Tellabs Inc…
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