Fish & Richardson Clients Granted Rare Summary Determination in ITC Trade Secret Case

Fish & Richardson has helped Guangzhou Rebenet Catering Equipment Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Rebenet), Guangzhou Liangsheng Trading Co., Ltd., and Aceplus International Limited secure a rare ruling terminating an International Trade Commission (ITC) investigation brought against them. The investigation was initiated by Vesta Guangzhou Catering Equipment Co., Ltd. (Vesta), Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW), Vesta Global Limited, and Admiral Craft Equipment Corp. (collectively, Complainants), alleging misappropriation of trade secrets related to commercial foodservice equipment, as well as tortious interference with contractual relationships. The Complainants sought a limited exclusion order at the ITC to bar the importation of Rebenet's products into the United States.

On July 9, 2020, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) issued an initial determination granting summary determination that the Complainants had failed to prove substantial injury to domestic industry, and terminating the investigation in favor of Fish and its clients. "We are thrilled to deliver this important ruling for our clients. We handle more ITC investigations than any other firm, and we know how to obtain favorable results for our clients from every angle in this unique venue," said Fish Litigation Practice Group Leader Kurt Glitzenstein, who led the case. The ALJ's initial determination is now subject to review by the ITC's Commissioners.

The ITC case was In the Matter of Certain Foodservice Equipment and Components Thereof, 337-TA-1166. In addition to Glitzenstein, the Fish team included principals Brian Boyd, Kevin Su, and Linhong Zhang, as well as associates Charles Reese, Liz Ranks, Autumn Wu, and Eric Peng, Ph.D.

Fish has helped China's leading companies obtain, enforce and defend their intellectual property rights in the U.S. and Europe for many years. In June 2020, Fish obtained a major ITC ruling, In the Matter of Certain Photovoltaic Cells and Products Containing Same, 337-TA-1151, for one of the largest and most innovative solar module manufacturers in the world, that its products do not infringe a competitor's patent.

Fish opened a Representative Office in Shenzhen, China in 2019 to better support and service its innovative clients in the region. Fish helps Chinese companies obtain patent and trademark protection in the U.S. and Europe, and represents Chinese companies in federal district and appeals courts, at the ITC and before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.