WASHINGTON—Both sides claimed at least a partial victory in an International Trade Commission decision that partly affirms and partly rejects an administrative law judge's decision involving rubber resins imported from China.
The ITC voted Jan. 15 to overturn the general 10-year ban on rubber tackifier resins imported by Sino Legend (Zhangjiagang) Chemical Co. Ltd. However, the agency approved a more limited exclusion order prohibiting for 10 years the unlicensed importation of rubber resins manufactured by Sino Legend and its affiliates using the SP-1068 Rubber Resin Trade Secrets patented by SI Group Inc.
Sino Legend resins made using SI Group's SL-1805 and SL-7015 production methods are exempt from the ban, according to Sino Legend.
Schenectady, N.Y.-based SI Group, which has pursued relief against Sino Legend since 2007, said it was delighted with the ITC decision.
“It's a clear victory for SI Group,” the company said in a statement. “We have fought vehemently to support our intellectual property rights, and this 10-year import ban is a culmination of those efforts.”
Corey Xie, general manager of Sino Legend, issued a statement saying the company was still reviewing the ITC decision, including its options for appealing the limited 10-year ban.
“Of particular note is the ITC's reversal on what products are affected,” Xie said. “The decision allows our customers to use Sino Legend tackifiers in any of their non-U.S. production facilities, and then import these products into the U.S. without restriction.”
Robert K. Rogers Jr., an ITC administrative law judge, recommended the general 10-year ban on Sino Legend resins in a June 17, 2013 decision. Rogers found that Sino Legend's importation of rubber resins made with SI Group's production methods were causing material injury to U.S. rubber resin manufacturers.
Sino Legend appealed the decision July 1 to the full ITC, and the commission granted a review of Rogers' ruling Sept. 9.
The ITC originally set a Nov. 8 deadline for its decision in the review, but it later moved the deadline to January.
SI Group filed its complaint with the ITC in 2012, but its lawsuit against Sino Legend before Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court was filed in 2007.
The same day that Rogers voted in SI Group's favor, the Shanghai court ruled that it found no factual or legal basis for SI Group's complaint.
Under ITC rules, the commission's decision now goes to the president for review. If within 60 days the president has no specific objections to the ITC's recommended action, the decision becomes law.
During the 60-day period, Sino Legend may import the SP-1068 resins into the U.S. under a bond in the amount of 19 percent of entered value, the ITC said in its ruling.