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Steptoe secures ITC win for Autel in patent dispute over drones with DJI

Steptoe secures ITC win for Autel in patent dispute over drones with DJI

Steptoe has secured a significant trial victory for Autel Robotics USA at the US International Trade Commission (ITC). On March 2, the chief administrative law judge of the ITC found that SZ DJI Technology Co. Ltd. and seven related entities (together known as “DJI”), the world’s largest maker of consumer drones, violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, by importing and selling drones that infringe US Patent No. 9, 260,184 belonging to Autel.

Steptoe secures ITC win for Autel in patent dispute over drones with DJI

As a result, the chief administrative law judge recommended that the infringing products be excluded from importation into the United States, including the Mavic Pro, Mavic Pro Platinum, Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom, Mavic Air, and Spark. Together these represent some of DJI’s most popular drones sold in the United States.

The chief administrative law judge’s initial determination also recommended a cease and desist order prohibiting DJI from selling any of those products already in the United States at the time the exclusion order issues. It also granted Autel’s request that DJI post a 9.9% bond during the 60-day presidential review period following the exclusion order.

If the chief administrative law judge’s determination is upheld by the full commission, these products could be taken off the US market as early as July. In the meantime, Autel has filed a petition with the ITC to extend the exclusion order to include other popular DJI products including the Phantom 4 and Inspire series drones.

The Steptoe team that secured this victory for Autel is led by Tim Bickham and includes lawyers John Abramic, Matt Bathon, Mike Flynn-O’Brien, Kate Johnson, Candice Kwark, Hui Shen, and Andrew Xue.

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Haye Kesteloo

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