LELO Inc. v. Int'l Trade Comm'n, No. 13-1582 (Fed. Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Standard markets kinesiotherapy devices, including models that practice claims of its 605 Patent. In 2009, Standard formed a subsidiary to distribute products in the U.S. Neither Standard nor Standard U.S. manufactures in the U.S.; Standard sources components from suppliers in the U.S. and other countries. It contracts Chinese manufacturers to assemble devices from those components for export to more than 50 countries, including the U.S. The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) addressed four components in its domestic industry analysis: a backbone material, a rubber, microcontrollers, and a pigment. The backbone material, rubber, pigment, and wafers used in the microcontrollers are manufactured in the U.S. Lelo, a California corporation with a Swedish majority shareholder, imports kinesiotherapy devices. Standard filed a 19 U.S.C. 1337 complaint alleging that Lelo imported kinesiotherapy devices and components that infringed its 605 Patent. The ITC concluded that statutory domestic industry requirements were satisfied upon a showing of a “significant investment in plant or equipment” and a “significant employment of labor or capital.” The Eighth Circuit reversed, holding that qualitative factors alone are insufficient. The purchase of so-called “crucial” components from third-party U.S. suppliers was insufficient to satisfy the “significant investment” or “significant employment of labor or capital” criteria absent evidence that connects the cost of the components to an increase of U.S. investment or employment.