ITC Reverses Decision on Patent Dispute, Sides With SATCO

On July 3, the International Trade Commission (ITC) reversed the initial decision by an Administrative Law Judge on February 3, 2014 in a patent dispute between Neptun Light, Inc. – a designer, developer, and manufacturer of lighting products by founder and inventor Andrzej Bobel – and lighting manufacturer SATCO (as well as MaxLite and Litetronics) over imported compact fluorescent reflector lamps (PAR).

Neptun and Bobel had originally filed a complaint with the ITC alleging infringement on U.S. Patent No. 7,053,540 in violation of Section 337 of the U.S. Tariff Act. In the February ruling, the ITC Administrative Law Judge found that Satco and MaxLite infringed claims 1, 2, and 11 of the ‘540 patent; Litetronics infringed claims 1, 2, and 10 of the ‘540 patent; and that the domestic industry requirement had been satisfied.

On July 3, the ITC ruled that the decision made in February was incorrect. SATCO Products successfully defended the design of the company’s PAR CFL lamps against Neptun and Bobel’s complaint with the ITC alleging that Satco, imported/manufactured compact fluorescent reflector lamps (PAR) that infringed U.S. Patent No. 7,053,540. Ultimately, Neptun and Bobel failed to prove infringement of any of the claims of the patent.

“This has been a long process, but one worth the time, effort, and expense,” states Bill Gildin, President of SATCO. “Allowing companies to initiate baseless lawsuits with the intent to force a settlement, is, in my opinion, tantamount to extortion. Choosing not to back down and fight for what we believe, and know is right – and to win – makes this determination more than justified. SATCO acknowledges and thanks the ITC for their efforts and accurate decision.”

The following is a list of SATCO PAR CFL products that were previously accused and now found not to infringe: Satco’s PAR38 CFL lamps are identified by SKU S7201, S7202, S7203, S7295, S7422, and S7432; PAR30 lamps are identified by SKU S7204, S7205, S7206, S7237, and S7294; and PAR20 lamps are identified by SKU S7207, S7208, S7209, S7238, and S7241.

As of press time, there has been no word on whether the decision against MaxLite and Litetronics has been reversed.

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