January 19, 2001
News Release 01-011
Inv. No. 337-TA-447


The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain aerospace rivets and products containing same. The products at issue in this investigation are rivets used in the manufacture of civilian and military aircraft and their structural components.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Allfast Fastening Systems, Inc., of City of Industry, CA, on December 26, 2000 and supplemented on January 11, 2001. 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 aerospace rivets and products containing same that (1) infringe a patent owned by Allfast, (2) infringe two common law trademarks ("BRFR" and "BRFZ") also owned by Allfast, and (3) dilute Allfast's BRFR and BRFZ trademarks. The complaint also alleges that the respondent had engaged in unfair competition by means of false designation of origin and false description. The complainant requests that the ITC issue a permanent exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order.

The ITC has identified Ateliers De La Haute Garonne ets Auriol et Cie. S.A. of Balma-Toulouse, France, as the respondent in the investigation.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-447), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The case will be referred to the Honorable Sidney Harris, an ITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. Judge Harris 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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