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NEWS RELEASE 98-068; SEPTEMBER 25, 1998 September 25, 1998
News Release 98-068
Inv. No. 337-TA-415

ITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION ON CERTAIN MECHANICAL LUMBAR SUPPORTS AND PRODUCTS CONTAINING SAME

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain mechanical lumbar supports and products containing same. The products at issue in this investigation are one-piece lumbar supports that are integrated into the seats of automobiles and light trucks to provide increased comfort and support.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by McCord Winn Textron Inc. of Manchester, New Hampshire, on August 19, 1998. An amended complaint was filed on September 14, 1998. The complaint, as amended, alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain mechanical lumbar supports and products containing same that infringe a U.S. patent owned by McCord Winn Textron. In its complaint, McCord Winn Textron requests that the ITC issue a permanent exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders barring the importation into and sale within the United States of the allegedly infringing products.

The ITC has identified the following companies as respondents in the investigation:

SchUkra Manufacturing Inc., of Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada;
SchUkra of North America Ltd., of Windsor, Ontario, Canada;
SchUkra U.S.A., Inc., of Plymouth, MI;
SchUkra Berndorf GmbH of Berndorf, Austria; and,
SchUkra Automobil-Erstausstatungs-GmbH of Nrnberg, Germany.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-415), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The case will be referred to an ITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The administrative law judge will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.

The ITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the ITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. ITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the President of the United States within that 60-day period.

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