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IPR Enforcement Actions on Outdoor Grills, Personal Transporters, Windshield Wipers, Footwear Products

Friday, October 17, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Import Restrictions Recommended on Outdoor Grills. In investigation 337-TA-895, the International Trade Commission’s presiding administrative law judge has recommended the issuance of a limited exclusion order and/or cease and desist orders against certain infringing multiple mode outdoor grills and parts thereof imported by respondents located China and the U.S. The ITC is now soliciting through Nov. 5 comments on public interest issues raised by the recommended relief; i.e., whether it would affect the public health and welfare in the United States, competitive conditions in the U.S. economy, the production of like or directly competitive articles in the U.S., or U.S. consumers. In particular, the ITC is interested in comments that:

- explain how the articles potentially subject to the recommended orders are used in the U.S.;

- identify any public health, safety or welfare concerns in the U.S. relating to the recommended orders;

- identify like or directly competitive articles that the complainant, its licensees or third parties make in the U.S. that could replace the subject articles if they were to be excluded;

- indicate whether the complainant, its licensees and/or third-party suppliers have the capacity to replace the volume of articles potentially subject to the recommended exclusion order and/or cease and desist order within a commercially reasonable time; and

- explain how the limited exclusion order and/or cease and desist order would impact consumers in the U.S.

Potential IPR Probe of Personal Transporters Evaluated for Public Interest Issues. The International Trade Commission is requesting comments no later than Oct. 27 on any public interest issues raised by a Section 337 intellectual property rights infringement complaint filed on behalf of Segway Inc. and DEKA Products Limited Partnership against certain personal transporters, components thereof and manuals therefor. Comments should address whether the issuance of exclusion orders and/or cease and desist orders pursuant to this complaint would affect the public health and welfare in the U.S., competitive conditions in the U.S. economy, the production of like or directly competitive articles in the U.S., or U.S. consumers. In particular, the ITC is interested in comments that:

- explain how the articles potentially subject to the orders are used in the U.S.;

- identify any public health, safety or welfare concerns in the U.S. relating to the potential orders;

- identify like or directly competitive articles that the complainant, its licensees or third parties make in the U.S. that could replace the subject articles if they were to be excluded;

- indicate whether the complainant, its licensees and/or third-party suppliers have the capacity to replace the volume of articles potentially subject to the requested orders within a commercially reasonable time; and

- explain how the requested orders would impact U.S. consumers.

New IPR Import Restrictions Sought on Windshield Wipers, Footwear Products. The International Trade Commission has received the following petitions requesting the institution of Section 337 investigations regarding the products indicated.

- a petition filed Oct. 15 on behalf of Valeo North America Inc. and Delmex de Juarez de R.L. de C.V. regarding certain windshield wipers and components thereof (proposed respondents located in Mexico and the U.S.)

- a petition filed Oct. 14 on behalf of Converse Inc. asserting trademark infringement by certain footwear products (proposed respondents located in Canada, Italy, Australia, Japan, China and the U.S.)

Section 337 investigations primarily involve claims regarding intellectual property rights violations by imported goods, including the infringement of patents, trademarks and copyrights. Other forms of unfair competition involving imported products, such as misappropriation of trade secrets or trade dress and false advertising, may also be asserted. The primary remedy available in Section 337 investigations is an exclusion order that directs U.S. Customs and Border Protection to stop infringing imports from entering the U.S. In addition, the ITC may issue cease and desist orders against named importers and other persons engaged in unfair acts that violate Section 337, including selling infringing imported articles out of U.S. inventory.

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