Leviton Manufacturing Secures General Exclusion Order

On April 27, 2012, the International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a general exclusion order and cease and desist orders after finding a violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (35 U.S.C. § 1337) by all respondents in a case in which Leviton Manufacturing accused 29 companies of infringing its patents related to ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) technology. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati represented the complainant, Leviton Manufacturing, in this matter.

The non-defaulting non-settling respondents were found to infringe Leviton's U.S. Patent No. 7,737,809, and the ITC overturned a portion of the initial determination made by the administrative law judge who presided over the investigation. The initial determination had found that Leviton, a family-owned business located in New York for more than a century, failed to satisfy the ITC's domestic industry requirement. The final determination, however, found that Leviton did meet the requirement by establishing that it has a domestic industry.

Furthermore, in a decisive victory for the firm's client, the ITC also granted a rare general exclusion order preventing the importation of infringing GFCIs by any entity, not just those parties specifically found to have infringed Leviton's patents as a result of the investigation. The general exclusion order gives Leviton a strong weapon to combat infringing imports in the future, regardless of their sources. In total, 10 of the respondents in the case settled with Leviton during the investigation, while another 12 defaulted by not responding to the complaint.

The Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati team that represented Leviton in this matter included Larry Shatzer, Stefani Shanberg, Natalie Morgan, Veronica Ascarrunz, Shaun Snader, Matt Argenti, and Roozbeh Gorgin.

For more information, please refer to the court's decision.