June 24, 2011
News Release 11-069
Inv. No. 337-TA-780
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819
USITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION
ON CERTAIN PROTECTIVE CASES AND COMPONENTS THEREOF
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain protective cases and components thereof. The products at issue in this investigation are protective cases for electronic devices such as smartphones and tablet computers.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Otter Products LLC of Fort Collins, CO, on May 25, 2011. A letter supplementing the complaint was filed on June 16, 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 protective cases and components thereof that infringe patents and trademarks asserted by the complainant. 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:
A.G. Findings and Mfg. Co. Inc. d/b/a Ballistics of Sunrise, FL;
AFC Trident Inc. of Chino, CA;
Alibaba.com Hong Kong Ltd. of China;
Anbess Electronics Co. Ltd. of China;
Cellairis Franchise Inc. of Alpharetta, GA;
Cellet Products of Santa Fe Springs, CA;
DHGate.com of China;
Griffin Technology, Inc., of Nashville, TN;
Guangzhou Evotech Industry Co., Ltd., of China;
Hardcandy Cases LLC of Sacramento, CA;
Hoffco Brands, Inc., d/b/a Celltronix of Wheat Ridge, CO;
Hong Kong Better Technology Group Ltd. of China;
Hong Kong HJJ Co. Ltd. of China;
Hypercel Corporation of Valencia, CA;
InMotion Entertainment of Jacksonville, FL;
MegaWatts Computers, LLC, of Tulsa, OK;
National Cellular of Brooklyn, NY;
OEMBargain.com of Wantagh, NY;
One Step Up Ltd. d/b/a Lifeworks Technology Group LLC of New York, NY;
Papaya Holdings Ltd. of Hong Kong;
Quanyun Electronics Co. Ltd. of China;
ShenZhen Star & Trade Co., Ltd., of China;
Sinotech Industrial Co., Ltd., of China;
SmileCase of Windsor Mill, MD;
Suntel Global Investment Ltd. of China;
TheCaseInPoint.com of Titusville, FL;
TheCaseSpace of Fort Collins, CO;
Topter Technology Co. Ltd. of China; and
Trait Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd., of China.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-780), 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.