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NEWS RELEASE 98-070; SEPTEMBER 28, 1998 September 28, 1998
News Release 98-070
Inv. No. 337-TA-416

ITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION ON CERTAIN COMPACT MULTIPURPOSE TOOLS

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain compact multipurpose tools. The products at issue in this investigation consist of a pair of steel scissors combined with additional implements, such as screwdrivers, knife blades, and tweezers, all of which are capable of collapsing into the scissors' handles as a self-contained, compact utensil.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by the Leatherman Tool Group, Inc., of Portland, OR, on August 28, 1998. Supplements to the complaint were filed on September 15, 21, and 22, 1998. The complaint, as supplemented, 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 compact multipurpose tools that infringe four U.S. design patents owned by the Leatherman Tool Group, Inc. The complainant requests that the ITC issue a permanent exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order 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:

Suncoast of America, Inc., of Cape Coral, FL;
SCIKO Chinalight of Nanjing, China;
Kumasama Products Co., Ltd., of Taiping City, Taichung Hsien, Taiwan;
Quan Da Industry and Commerce Development Co. Zhuhai S.E.Z., of Xiangzhou,
Zhuhai Guangdong, China; and,
Jiangsu Hongbao Group Corp., of Jiangsu, China.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-416), 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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