October 30, 2006
News Release 06-101
Inv. No. 337-TA-586
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819


The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain stringed musical instruments and components thereof. The products at issue in this investigation are stringed musical instruments and components thereof, including tremolos used to control the tension applied to the strings of the instrument in order to vary the notes or sound pitch.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Geoffrey McCabe of Los Angeles, CA, on October 3, 2006. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States of certain stringed musical instruments and components thereof that infringe patents owned by McCabe. The complainant requests that the ITC issue a permanent exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order.

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

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-586), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The case will be referred to the Honorable Robert L. Barton, Jr., an ITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. Judge Barton 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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