New Unfair Import Complaints
On October 3, 2006, Geoffrey McCabe filed a "Section 337" complaint requesting that an unfair import investigation be instituted involving "EStringed Musical Instruments and Components Thereof." The proposed respondents are: Floyd Rose Guitars, Washington; Ibanez, Inc. (Hoshino). US, Pennsylvania and Vigier, Inc., France, and the complaint has been designated as confidential and assigned Docket No. 337-2505.
On October 6, 2006, Norgen Inc., filed a "Section 337" complaint requesting that an unfair import investigation be instituted involving "Certain Devices for Modular Compressed Air Conditioning Units and the FRL Units They Connect." The proposed respondents are: SMC Corporation, Japan; SMC Corporation of America, IN; AIRTAC, China; and MFD Pneumatics, IL. The complaint has been designated as confidential and assigned Docket No. 337-2506.
Also on October 6, 2006, Fluke Corporation filed a "Section 337" complaint requesting that an unfair import investigation be instituted involving "Digital Multimeters, and Products with Multimeter Functionality." The proposed respondents are: Atladox, Inc.,CA; Circuit Specialists, Inc., AZ; Digitek Instruments Co., Ltd., Hong Kong; Electronic Specialties, Inc., IL; Electronix Express, NJ; Elenco Electronics, Inc., IL; HandsOnTools, CO; Harbor Freight Tools, CA; Jameco Electronics, CA; Kaito Electronics, Inc., CA; Parts Express, OH; Precision Mastech Enterprises Co., Hong Kong; Shenzhen Everbest Machinery Industry Co., Ltd., China; ShenZhen Hongda Electronic Co., Ltd., China; Shenzhen Victor Hi-Tech Co., Ltd., China; Sinometer Instruments Co. Ltd., China; TechBuys, LLC, CA and Velleman Inc., TX. This complaint has been designated as confidential and assigned Docket No. 337-2507.
Such complaints typically include an allegation of intellectual property infringement and a request that the infringing godds be excluded from entry into the United States. The Commission now has 30-35 days from the filing date of the complaints in which to decide whether to institute the investigation. Upon institution, the proposed respondent will be served with the Complaint via postal mail and an Administrative Law Judge will schedule discovery, conduct a trial, and issue a written "Initial Determination," usually within about 10 months. Due to the expedited nature of these proceedings, and availability of general exclusion orders affecting non-parties, it is important to notify any potential importers of similar products as soon as possible.
Click here for more information on the importance of monitoring these ITC investigations, and click here for an audio-visual Internet presentation on "Unfair Import Investigations at the U.S. International Trade Commission." For the latest details on a particular Section 337 investigation and/or other intellectual property matter, contact me, Bill Heinze (Bill.Heinze@tkhr.com), at Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley in Atlanta, Georgia.