USITC Institutes Section 337 Investigation On Ceramic Capacitors

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain ceramic capacitor and products containing same. The capacitors at issue in this investigation are a type of capacitor, used in a variety of electronic devices, in which one or more pairs of conductors are separated by a ceramic dielectric material.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd., of Japan, and Murata Electronics North America, Inc., of Smyrna, GA, on October 1, 2009. A supplement to the complaint was filed on October 28, 2009. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain ceramic capacitor and products containing same that infringe patents asserted by Murata. The complainant requests that the USITC issue an exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation: Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd., of Korea; and Samsung Electro-Mechanics America, Inc., of Irvine, CA.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-692), the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The USITC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC’s six administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is expected before the end of the year.

Additional Resources: (1) Ceramic Capacitors: World Markets, Technologies & Opportunities: 2009-2014 ISBN # 1-893211-25-8 (December 2009) (2) BME MLCC: Global Markets, Technologies & Opportunities: 2005-2010 ISBN # 1-893211-74-6 (2005)