On March 2nd, Steptoe, a leading international law firm, secured a major trial victory for Autel Robotics USA at the US International Trade Commission (ITC). The ITC’s chief administrative law judge found that SZ DJI Technology Co. Ltd., the world’s largest manufacturer of consumer drones, and 7 related entities collectively known as ‘DJI,’ violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended. DJI has been importing and selling drones that infringe on Autel’s US Patent No. 9, 260,184.
The ITC’s chief administrative law judge recommended barring the following DJI products from importation into the United States: the Mavic Pro, Mavic Pro Platinum, Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom, Mavic Air, and Spark. The judge also recommended a cease and desist order prohibiting DJI from selling any of these products that are already in the U.S. when the exclusion order issues. If upheld, all of these products could be removed from the U.S. market as early as July.
Autel scored another victory with the ITC. DJI was forced to post a 9.9% bond during the 60-day presidential review period following the exclusion order. Autel also filed a petition to prevent other DJI products from being sold including the Phantom 4 and Inspire series of drones. It is worth noting that DJI’s Inspire 1 and most of its Phantom 4 line has been discontinued, with the exception of the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0. The Spark and original Mavic Pro models are also no longer produced.
Representatives from DJI declined to comment on the matter at this time.