The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain insulated beverage containers, components, labels, and packaging materials thereof. The products at issue in the investigation are insulated beverage containers with an ability to keep a drink colder or hotter longer than if kept in an uninsulated container by reducing thermal transfer, along with the containers’ components, labels, and packaging.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by YETI Coolers, LLC, of Austin, TX, on September 28, 2017, that was then amended on October 27, 2017. The amended complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain insulated beverage containers, components, labels, and packaging materials thereof that infringe one or more of U.S. Trademark Reg. No. 5,233,441, U.S. Trademark Reg. No. 4,883,074, U.S. Copyright Reg. No. VA 1-974-722, U.S. Copyright Reg. No. VA 1-974-732, U.S. Copyright Reg. No. VA 1-974-735, U.S. Design Patent No. D752,397, U.S. Design Patent No. D780,533, U.S. Patent No. D781,146, and U.S. Patent No. D784,775. The amended complaint further alleges that certain named Respondents have violated section 337 by engaging in unfair methods of competition through false advertising and passing off in connection with the sale and importation of such insulated beverage containers. The complainant requests that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.
The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:
Alibaba (China) Technology Co., Ltd., of Hong Kong;
Alibaba Group Holding Limited, of Hong Kong;
Alibaba.com Hong Kong Limited, of Hong Kong;
Alibaba.com Singapore E-Commerce Private Limited, of Hong Kong;
Bonanza.com, Inc., of Seattle, WA;
ContextLogic, Inc., d/b/a/ Wish of San Francisco, CA;
Dunhuang Group, of Beijing, China;
Hangzhou Alibaba Advertising Co., Ltd., of Hong Kong;
Huizhou Dashu Trading Co., Ltd., of Huizhou City, Guangdong Province, China;
Huagong Trading Co., Ltd., of Hebei, China;
Tan Er Pa Technology Co., Ltd., of Hong Kong;
Shenzhen Great Electronic Technology Co., Ltd. of Shenzhen, China; and
SZ Flowerfairy Technology Ltd., of Shenzhen, China.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-1084), 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.