The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain loom kits for creating linked articles. The products at issue in this investigation are children's hobby kits used to link together elastic bands to make articles such as bracelets.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Choon's Design Inc. of Wixom, MI, on July 1, 2014. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain loom kits for creating linked articles that infringe a patent asserted by Choon's Design. The complainant requests that the USITC issue a general exclusion order, or in the alternative a limited exclusion order, and cease and desist orders.
The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:
Wangying of Jinhua, Zhejiang, China;
Island In The Sun LLC of Little Rock, AR;
Quality Innovations Inc. of Irwindale, CA;
Yiwu Mengwang Craft & Art Factory of Yiwu City, Zhejiang, China;
Shenzhen Xuncent Technology Co., Ltd., of Shenzhen, Guangdong, China;
Altatac Inc. of Los Angeles, CA;
My Imports USA LLC of Edison, NJ;
Jayfinn LLC of Gilbert, AZ;
Creative Kidstuff, LLC, of Minneapolis, MN;
Hongkong Haoguan Plastic Hardware Co., Limited, of Shenzhen, Guangdong, China;
Blinkee.com, LLC, of Fairfax, CA;
Eyyup Arga of Lodi, NJ; and
Itcoolnomore of Jinhua, Zhejiang, China.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-923), 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 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.