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June 11,2013

Hon. Irving A. Williamson Chairman U.S. International Trade Commission 500 E Street, S.W. Washington, DC 20436

Dear Chairman Williamson:

We write in connection with a pending investigation before the Intemational Trade Commission (“ITC”), investigation 337-TA-796, in which Apple lnc. has accused Samsung Electronics of infringing a variety of patents, including several design patents.
While Weexpress no opinion on the merits of the underlying case, we believe it is fiindamental that any exclusion order that may issue be sufficiently clear as to put all affected persons —in particular the officials from Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) who must enforce any decision —on notice of the scope of that order. The interpretation and enforcement of ITC exclusion orders can impact billions of dollars of trade in vital consumer products, so clarity is essential for compliance and proper administration.

We are concerned that the unique nature of design patents makes it especially important for the ITC to carefully and precisely crafi any exclusion order that may be issued in this case. In a design patent, where the claim is simply a drawing, merely providing CBP with the drawing without specific guidance as to its scope may lead to uncertainty and an overly broad application of a narrowly proscribed intellectual property right. That is particularly so as some have described the design patents at issue to protect a phone shaped like a “rectangle with rounded corners.” This shape is common to most, if not all, modem smartphones.
We are hopeful that the ITC will be sensitive to these concems and will take whatever measures necessary to ensure that any exclusion order it may issue in this case be precisely drafted so it cannot be interpreted to be so overly broad as to exclude all smartphones with “rounded rectangles” from import into the United States.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. We look forward to working with you on these and other issues in the future.


HAKEEM S. J RIES Member of Congress HENRY . “HANK” JOHNSON, JR. Membe of Congress


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