A team of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney attorneys, comprised of Bassam N. Ibrahim, S. Lloyd Smith and Bryce J. Maynard recently won a major victor at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on behalf of client Deere & Company.

The case involved the unauthorized importation and sale of grey market John Deere forage harvesters. These "European version" forage harvesters are only authorized by Deere for sale in Europe, not in the United States, and are significantly different from the "North American version" forage harvesters sold by Deere in the United States. In order to prevent the importation of these products, Deere was required to show that "all or substantially all" of the forage harvesters authorized for sale by Deere in the United States had been the North American version forage harvesters. The ITC held that Deere failed to meet its burden because of a small number of European version forage harvesters sold by Deere's official U.S. dealers.

Upon appeal, Deere argued that the ITC has misapplied the "all or substantially all" test. The Federal Circuit agreed, and found that over 95 percent of the forage harvesters sold by Deere in the United States had been the North American version of the machines. The Court therefore reversed and remanded to the ITC for further proceedings consistent with the Court's opinion.