“337 Survey” may affect many companies related to the LED industry chain

The “337 Investigation” application for light-emitting diodes (LEDs) was officially filed, and four companies in Guangdong, China, were sued.
According to the State Intellectual Property Office, the case involved an export value of more than 100 million US dollars. At present, there are 1,700 companies related to the LED industry chain in China. If the ITC decides that the Chinese company has lost the case, ITC may issue a “universal exclusion order”. During the validity period of the plaintiff's patent, the LEDs produced by Chinese companies and the downstream products containing LEDs will be completely banned from exporting to the US.
The respondents were: Shenzhen Chaoyi Optoelectronics Co., Ltd., Guangzhou Hongli Optoelectronics Co., Ltd., Jiaguang Electronics Co., Ltd., Shenzhen Zhoulei Electronics Co., Ltd.
The survey was triggered by an application from Gertrude Neumark Rothschild, an honorary professor at Columbia University. On February 20th, he asked ITC to initiate a “337 investigation” on short-wavelength LEDs and apply for general exclusion orders and stop orders. ITC has identified 34 companies involved in nine countries and regions including China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
This is the fifth “337 investigation” application that Chinese companies have encountered in 2008. Within one day of March 11th, ITC issued two “337 investigations” to China, involving electric hairdressing equipment manufacturers and plastic container manufacturing enterprises.
According to the website of the Guangdong Intellectual Property Office, a total of 3,443 Chinese patents involving the invention of "Light Emitting Diodes" before 2007.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, the “337 investigation” refers to the ITC’s investigation of unfair import practices and the adoption of sanctions in accordance with Section 337 of the US Tariff Act of 1930. In practice, the “337 Investigation” is mainly aimed at the violation of US intellectual property rights by imported products. If ITC investigates that imported products infringe US intellectual property rights, ITC has the right to take remedies such as limited or general exclusion orders, stop orders and relief orders.
If four enterprises in Guangdong lose the case, Chinese-made LEDs and downstream products may be completely banned from entering the United States.

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