Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Jazz Photo Corp. v. United States Int’l Trade Comm. case brief

Jazz Photo Corp. v. United States Int’l Trade Comm. case brief summary
264 F.3d 1094 (2001)

In an action under § 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, specifically 19 U.S.C.S. § 1337, intervenor charged 27 respondents, including appellants, with infringement of 15 patents. Appellants challenged appellee International Trade Commission's determination that they infringed all or most claims in suit of 14 United States patents.

Intervenor's charge was based on appellants' importation of used "single-use" cameras called "lens-fitted film packages" which had been refurbished for reuse in various overseas facilities. After finding infringement, appellee International Trade Commission issued a General Exclusion Order and Order to Cease and Desist. Its decision rested on its ruling that refurbishment of the used cameras was prohibited "reconstruction," as opposed to permissible "repair."


  • The court concluded that precedent did not support the commission's application of the law to the facts that were found. 
  • The court concluded that for used cameras whose first sale was in the United States with the patentee's authorization, and for which appellants permitted verification of their representations that their activities were limited to eight steps, including, (e.g., step three) inserting new film and a container to receive the film, the totality of these procedures did not satisfy the standards required for prohibited reconstruction. 
  • Precedent required that the described activities be deemed permissible repair. 
  • For those cameras that met the outlined criteria, the commission's ruling was reversed.

The decision was affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. The stay was lifted.

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