May 2, 2000
News Release 00-058
Inv. No. 337-TA-433

ITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION ON CERTAIN SAFETY EYEWEAR AND COMPONENTS THEREOF

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain safety eyewear and components thereof. The products at issue in this investigation are nonprescription eyewear designed to be worn in circumstances where there may be a danger to the eyes, such as at construction sites, in industrial settings, and in chemical laboratories.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Bacou USA Safety, Inc. and its subsidiary, Uvex Safety Manufacturing, Inc., both of Smithfield, RI, on March 31, 2000, and supplemented on April 18 and 19, 2000. 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 safety eyewear and components thereof that infringe patents owned by Bacou and that misappropriate Bacou's trade dress. In their complaint, the complainants request that the ITC issue a permanent exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order.

The ITC has identified Crews, Inc., of Memphis, TN, as the respondent in the investigation.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-433), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The case will be referred to the Honorable Debra Morriss, an ITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. Judge Morriss 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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