July 29, 2005
News Release 05-083
Inv. No. 337-TA-545
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

ITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION ON CERTAIN LAMINATED FLOOR PANELS

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain laminated floor panels. The products at issue in this investigation are interlocking floor panels that are joined together using a tongue and groove configuration.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Unilin Beheer B.V. of the Netherlands, Flooring Industries Ltd. of Ireland, and Unilin Flooring N.C. LLC of Thomasville, NC, on July 1, 2005, alleging 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 laminated floor panels that infringe patents owned by Unilin Beheer B.V. The complainants request that the ITC issue an exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

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

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-545), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The case will be referred to the Honorable Paul J. Luckern, ITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. Judge Luckern 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 U.S. Trade Representative within that 60-day period.

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