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ITC Narrows Patent Infringement Probe of Denim Garments

Monday, September 28, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The International Trade Commission has narrowed patent infringement investigation 337-TA-930 of laser-abraded denim garments by terminating it with respect to one respondent on the basis of a settlement agreement. The products at issue are denim garments, including jeans and leggings, that have been abraded with a laser to apply designs or to simulate wear.

Complainants RevoLaze LLC and TechnoLines LLC have requested that after this investigation the ITC issue a general or limited exclusion order, which would direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to prohibit the entry of the infringing products into the U.S., and cease and desist orders, which would require the named respondents to cease actions that violate Section 337, including selling infringing imported articles out of U.S. inventory. However, several U.S. trade groups have said they oppose a general exclusion order because it could amount to an import restriction on an entire class of products (jeans with worn/distressed finish) given that U.S. Customs and Border Protection would have no definable way to determine how a particular product achieved a distressed look or to enforce an import restriction based on a specific distressing process.

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