December 4, 2009
News Release 09-100
Inv. No. 337-TA-693
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819
USITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION
ON CERTAIN FOLDABLE STOOLS
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain foldable stools. The products at issue in this investigation are plastic injection molded foldable step stools.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by B&R Plastics, Inc., of Denver, CO, on November 6, 2009. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain foldable stools that infringe a patent asserted by B&R. The complainant requests that the USITC issue an exclusion order and a cease and desist order.
The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:
Ningbo ZhongTian Co., Ltd., of China;
Ningbo Ningfeng Import and Export Co. Ltd. of China;
Kikkerland Design, Inc., of New York, NY;
abc Distributing Inc. of Bannockburn, IL;
Always Something Brilliant of Denver, CO;
Amazon.com, Inc., of Seattle, WA;
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. of Union, NJ;
Buy.com Inc. of Aliso Viejo, CA;
Crate & Barrel, Inc., of Northbrook, IL;
Home Depot Inc. of Atlanta, GA;
The Afternoon of Omaha, NE;
The Container Store, Inc., of Coppell, TX; and
QVC, Inc., of West Chester, PA.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-693), the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The USITC's Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC's six administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ 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 USITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. USITC 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.