The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain microperforated packages containing fresh produce. The products at issue in the investigation are packaging containing fresh produce with microperforations in a nonporous, polymeric packaging material to control and maintain desired oxygen and carbon dioxide concentration for fresh produce contained within the packaging.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Windham Packaging LLC of Windham, NH, on November 13, 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 microperforated packaging containing fresh produce that infringe a patent asserted by the complainant. The complainant requests that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.
The USITC has identified the following as the respondent in this investigation:
Alpine Fresh, lnc., of Miami, FL;
Apio, Inc., Guadalupe, CA;
B&G Foods North America, Inc., of Parsippany, NJ;
Glory Foods, Inc., of Columbus, OH; and
Taylor Farms California, Inc., of Salinas, CA.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-1096), 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.