The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain self-anchoring beverage containers. The products at issue in the investigation are beverage containers that attach themselves to surfaces on which they are put (such as desks or tables), making it difficult to knock them over, while still allowing users to pick them up.
The investigation is based on an amended complaint filed by Alfay Designs, Inc., of Rahway, NJ; Mighty Mug, Inc., of Rahway, NJ; and Harry Zimmerman of Los Angeles, CA, on December 1, 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 self-anchoring beverage containers that infringe patents and a registered trademark asserted by the complainants. The complainants request that the USITC issue a general exclusion order and cease and desist orders.
The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:
Telebrands, Corp. of Fairfield, NJ;
HIRALIY of Guangdong Province, China;
Chekue (Shenzhen Chekue Trading Co. Ltd.) of Guangdong Province, China;
Tapcet (Guangzhou Tinghui Trade Co., Ltd.) of Guangdong Province, China;
OUOH (Zhejiang OUOH Houseware Co., Ltd.) of Zhejiang Province, China;
DevBattles of Ternopil, Ukraine;
OTELAS, MB of Klaipeda, Lithuania; and
Artiart Limited of Taipei, Taiwan.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-1092), 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.