WASHINGTON—An International Trade Commission administrative law judge has released the public version of his determination that Sino Legend (Zhangjiagang) Chemical Co. Ltd. and its associates caused material injury to the U.S. rubber resins industry.
Judge Robert K. Rogers Jr. recommended a 10-year import ban on certain Sino Legend tackifier resins in his June 17 decision.
Rogers ruled that Sino Legend and its affiliates had injured Schenectady, N.Y.-based SI Group Inc., first by stealing SI Group's trade secrets for resins manufacturing, then by selling resins made with Si Group's techniques in the U.S.
SI Group failed to provide specific evidence of lower labor costs for Sino Legend compared with SI Group, Rogers said in the heavily redacted, 724-page public version of his decision.
"The evidence does, however, support a finding that Complainant's products cannot compete with Respondents' lower prices, which Respondents admit derive in part from lower costs of production," he said.
"The evidence also supports a finding that Respondents' lower costs of production arise, at least in part, from costs they were able to avoid as a result of their misappropriation of Complainant's trade secrets instead of actually developing the process necessary to produce a product equal to (SI Group's)," Rogers said.
"SI Group is pleased with Judge Rogers' recommended remedy and is optimistic that it will be approved by the ITC commissioners," SI Group said in a news release. "This important step marks another significant milestone in the company's quest to protect its trade secrets."
The six ITC commissioners are scheduled to vote on Rogers' decision Nov. 8.
The release of the June 17 decision is the latest event in a trade secret dispute between SI Group and Sino Legend that began in 2007, when SI Group sued Sino Legend in Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court.
Also on June 17 of this year, the Shanghai court ruled in Sino Legend's favor, saying it found no factual or legal basis for SI Group's lawsuit.
In a statement from China, Sino Legend noted its victory in the Shanghai court.
"We are committed to bringing innovative technology and products to the marketplace," the company said.
"Sino Legend is petitioning the ITC to ensure that U.S. customers have unimpeded access to our products," it said. "There has not been a definitive ruling, and we will continue to conduct business in a responsible, ethical manner."