June 14, 2011
News Release 11-063
Inv. No. 337-TA-777
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819
USITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION
ON CERTAIN MUZZLE-LOADING FIREARMS AND COMPONENTS THEREOF
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain muzzle-loading firearms and components thereof. The products at issue in this investigation are muzzle-loaded weapons that are primarily intended for hunting.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Thompson/Center Arms Company, Inc., and Smith & Wesson Corp., both of Springfield, MA, on May 11, 2011. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain muzzle-loading firearms and components thereof that infringe patents asserted by the complainants. The complainants request that the USITC issue an exclusion order and a cease and desist order.
The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:
Dikar Sociedad Cooperativa Limitada of Spain;
Bergara Barrels Europe of Spain;
Blackpowder Products Inc. of Duluth, GA;
Connecticut Valley Arms of Duluth, GA;
Bergara Barrels North America of Duluth, GA;
Ardesa Firearms of Spain; and
Traditional Sporting Goods, Inc., d/b/a Traditional Sporting Firearms of Old Saybrooke, CT.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-777), 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.