The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of
certain bulk welding wire containers and components thereof and welding wire. The products at
issue in this investigation are used primarily in automated and semi-automated welding
applications, such as robotic assembly lines.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by The Lincoln Electric Company of Cleveland, OH, and Lincoln Global, Inc. of City of Industry, CA, on August 7, 2009. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain bulk welding wire containers and components thereof and welding wire that infringe patents asserted by the complainants. The complainants request that the USITC issue an exclusion order and cease and desist orders.
The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:
Atlantic China Welding Consumables, Inc., of China;
ESAB AB, of Sweden;
Hyundai Welding Co., Ltd., of Korea;
Kiswel Co., Ltd., of Korea; and
Sidergas SpA, of Italy.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-686), 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.