March 9, 2001
News Release 01-031
Inv. No. 337-TA-452


The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain personal watercraft and components thereof. The products at issue in this investigation are small watercraft powered by an internal combustion engine and used primarily for recreation.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha, dba Yamaha Motor Company, Ltd. of Iwata, Japan, and Sanshin Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha, dba Sanshin Industries Company, Ltd. of Hamamatsu, Japan, on February 6, 2001, and supplemented on February 26, 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 personal watercraft and components thereof that infringe five patents owned by Yamaha and six patents owned by Sanshin. The complainants request that the ITC issue a permanent exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order.

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

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-452), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The case will be referred to the Honorable Debra Morriss, an ITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. Judge Morriss 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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