February19, 2013
News Release 13-023
Inv. No. 337-TA-870
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

USITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION OF CERTAIN ELECTRONIC BARK CONTROL COLLARS

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain electronic bark control collars. The products at issue in this investigation are electronic dog collars that sense a dog's bark and use various mechanisms (for example, electrostatic or ultrasonic pulse) to control the dog's barking.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Radio Systems Corporation of Knoxville, TN, on January 14, 2013. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 through the importation into the United States and sale of certain electronic bark control collars that infringe a patent asserted by Radio Systems Corporation. The complainant requests that the USITC issue a temporary exclusion order and a temporary cease and desist order, and a permanent exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order.

The USITC has identified Sunbeam Products, Inc., d/b/a Jarden Consumer Solutions, of Boca Raton, FL, as the respondent in this investigation.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-870), 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 in both the temporary and permanent relief phases. 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.

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