January 22, 1999
News Release 99-012
Inv. No. 337-TA-418


The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain rodent bait stations and components thereof. The products at issue in this investigation are used to present poisoned bait to rodent populations in a manner that induces rodents to feed upon the poisoned bait, but discourages tampering by pets, children, and unauthorized personnel.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Bell Laboratories, Inc., of Madison, WI, on December 23, 1998. The complaint, as supplemented, alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain rodent bait stations and components thereof that infringe U.S. patents owned by Bell. The complainant requests that the ITC issue a permanent exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders barring the importation into and sale within the United States of the allegedly infringing products.

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

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-418), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The case will be referred to an ITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The administrative law judge 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 President of the United States within that 60-day period.

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