Articles Posted in U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals

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A manufacturer of cable connectors that are used to connect coaxial cables to electronic devices filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission asserting that the importation, sale for importation, and sale after importation of certain coaxial cable connectors infringed four of its patents and therefore violated 19 U.S.C. 1337. Its 539 design patent patent issued in 2001 and describes an ornamental design for a coaxial cable connector. The Commission ruled that the company failed to satisfy the requirement of showing that a "domestic industry" exists or was being established. The Federal Circuit affirmed. The company's enforcement litigation expenses did not constitute "substantial investment in exploitation" of the 539 patent. Those costs were not sufficiently related to licensing. The company has no formal licensing program and the litigation opponent was its only licensee. View "John Mezzalingua Assocs., Inc. v. Int'l Trade Comm'n" on Justia Law

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection set duty rates on motocross jerseys, pants, and motorcycle jackets imported by plaintiff, classifying the items as apparel under chapters 61 and 62 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, rather than as sports equipment, as argued by plaintiff. The Court of International Trade upheld the classification and the Federal Circuit affirmed.Considering the definition of "sports equipment" as informed and clarified by Explanatory Notes, the subject merchandise is not prima facie classifiable as sports equipment under Chapter 95. View "Lemans Corp. v. United States" on Justia Law

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The Department of Commerce imposed antidumping duty order on imports of frozen pangas fish fillets from Vietnam that compete with domestic catfish in the retail market. The period of review covered August 2006 through July 2007. Commerce calculates antidumping duty margins by comparing "normal value" of goods in question with their actual or constructed export price. 19 U.S.C. 1677b(a). If normal value exceeds export price, Commerce imposes a duty equivalent to the percentage difference between those two values as the dumping margin. Commerce treats Vietnam as a nonmarket economy and examines best available information from appropriate market economy countries. For the fourth administrative review of the antidumping order in this case, Commerce chose Bangladesh as the primary surrogate market economy country to use in valuing factors of production. The Court of International Trade sustained Commerce's valuation of whole pangas fish and choice of data in making its calculation. The Federal Circuit affirmed. Valuation of whole pangas fish was supported by substantial evidence and Commerce's refusal to make a ministerial correction was not reversible error when the alleged mistake was discoverable during earlier proceedings but was not pointed out during the period specified by regulation. View "QVD Food Co., Ltd. v. United States" on Justia Law

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In 2003, Sunline imported frozen crawfish from China and procured security for required entry bonds from Hartford. The entries were subject to an antidumping order, but, after review by the International Trade Administration, were liquidated and a higher antidumping duty rate was levied. When Sunline did not pay, Customs sought payment from Hartford. Hartford learned that Sunline personnel had been arrested for using false invoices and claimed Customs' failure to disclose its investigation prior to issuance of the Sunline bonds was a material misrepresentation, making the bonds voidable. Under 19 U.S.C. 1514, Hartford had 90 days to file an administrative protest—which it did not do. Instead, Hartford filed suit under 28 U.S.C. 1581(i). The Court of International Trade held that Hartford should have reasonably known of its claims within the statutory time period and that the claims were within the scope of 19 U.S.C. 1514(c)(3), so that suit was unavailable; in effect, that it lacked jurisdiction. The Federal Circuit reversed and remanded. Hartford’s bonds did not cover the same shipments as those investigated, so it would be unlikely for Hartford to follow that action; the indictment was against two individuals, not against the company by name. View "Hartford Fire Ins. Co v. United States" on Justia Law

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The company imports mellorine, a frozen dessert similar to ice cream, with vegetable or animal fat substituted for some of the butterfat. Mellorine is classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. Chapter 21, "Miscellaneous Edible Preparations," Heading 2105, "Ice cream and other edible ice, whether or not containing cocoa," (19 U.S.C. 1202). Customs liquidated the mellorine under Subheading 2105.00.40, which applies to "dairy products described in additional U.S. note 1 to Chapter 4" for amounts above a certain import quota. This note describes three categories of dairy products. The Court of International Trade entered summary judgment in favor of the company. The court determined that mellorine was prima facie classifiable only under Heading 2105 as edible ice, that milk is not the essential ingredient, the ingredient of chief value, nor the preponderant ingredient, and that the mellorine is not an article of milk.The Federal Circuit affirmed, stating that that the mellorine does not have the essential character of an article of milk. View "Arko Foods Int'l v. United States" on Justia Law

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A 2007 patent litigation settlement agreement included a covenant not to sue that stated that it applied to customers of the defendants, who were intended beneficiaries, and a governing law/venue provision specifying New Mexico. In September 2010, plaintiff filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission alleging infringement by defendant and its U.S. distributors and filed a complaint in the Northern District of California alleging infringement of the same two patents, which issued after the settlement agreement but are continuations depending from the applications that were at issue in the settlement. The New Mexico district court entered a preliminary injunction, enforcing the forum selection clause. Plaintiff dismissed its ITC and California claims. The Federal Circuit affirmed the entry of the injunction; the issues relate to and arise out of the settlement agreement district court correctly applied the factors of irreparable harm, balance of hardships, and public interest. View "Gen. Protecht Grp., Inc. v. Leviton Mfg. Co." on Justia Law

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In order to determine an antidumping margin, Commerce must compare sales in the exporter’s home market with sales in the United States. 19 U.S.C. 1677(16). In its review of ball bearings, Commerce previously used the family model match methodology and considered sales of products in the exporter’s home market that had the same physical characteristics as the U.S. sale as part of the family of merchandise to average the prices of the family. Commerce later changed to the sum of the deviations method, which allows comparison of the U.S. sale to the sales of a single product in the exporter’s home market. The method uses the same characteristics, but weighs them differently. The Court of International Trade agreed with Commerce . The Federal Circuit vacated and remanded, holding that Commerce need not reconsider its model match methodology, but must explain why it continues to use zeroing in Administrative Reviews while discontinuing the practice in investigations. Zeroing is the practice whereby the values of positive dumping margins are used in calculating the overall margin, but negative dumping margins are included in the sum of margins as zeroes. View "JTEKT Corp. v. United States" on Justia Law

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Following a long history of disputes between the United States and Canada, the countries entered into the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement that requires that for seven years after October 12, 2006, Canada will, in certain circumstances, impose export charges on softwood lumber exported to the U.S. to offset its subsidization of that lumber. The Department of Commerce refunded duties collected on softwood lumber from Canada after May 22, 2002. The agreement required Canada to distribute some of the returned duties to various groups in the U.S.; $500 million was to be distributed to lumber producers identified as members of the Coalition. Appellants are U.S. lumber producers that were not members of the Coalition and not eligible for the funds. The Court of International Trade dismissed a challenge to the Agreement. The Federal Circuit reversed, concluding that the lower court erred in finding that the Agreement was not enacted under the Trade Act of 1974, 19 U.S.C. 2411 and that it, therefore, lacked jurisdiction over the "political question." View "Almond Bros. Lumber Co. v. United States" on Justia Law

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An anti-dumping petition claimed that Chinese firms were exporting frontseating service valves at less than fair value. The Department of Commerce calculated normal value of the valves by using India as a surrogate market economy and identifying brass bars as a primary raw material; it valued the labor factor of production using regression analysis that included wage rates and gross national income data from sixty-one market economy countries. Commerce issued a final determination that calculated the surrogate value for brass bar without excluding the imports from Japan, France, and the UAE. The Court of International Trade upheld the determination. The Federal Circuit vacated and remanded for revaluation of labor, not using the regression approach, and reconsideration of sales at issue for calculating the relevant total dumping margin. Commerce’s reading of the evidence was reasonable in including data on imports from Japan, France, and the UAE, to calculate the surrogate value of brass bar. View "Zhejiang Dunan Hetian Metal Co., Ltd. v. United States" on Justia Law

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In November 2001, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued an anti-dumping duty order on certain hot-rolled carbon steel flat products from Thailand, found that the company was selling the subject merchandise at less than normal value and assigned a dumping margin of 3.86%. In 2006 the order was partially revoked, as to the company, but remained in effect with respect to other exporters and producers. Commerce received a complaint that dumping had resumed and initiated changed circumstances review (CCR), despite the company's assertion that it lacked authority to so. The Court of International Trade (CIT) dismissed the company's suit for an injunction in 2009. Commerce reinstated the order with respect to the company; CIT affirmed. The Federal Circuit affirmed, holding that Commerce reasonably interpreted and acted on its revocation and CCR authority under 19 U.S.C. 1675(b, d) as permitting conditional revocation and reconsideration. View "Sahaviriya Steel Ind. Public Co.Ltd. v. United States" on Justia Law