The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain water filters and components thereof. The products at issue in the investigation are water filter cartridges for refrigerators, including water filter cartridge assemblies and interconnection subassemblies.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Electrolux Home Products, Inc. of Charlotte, NC, and KX Technologies, LLC of West Haven, CT, on June 8, 2018. An amended complaint was filed on June 28, 2018, and a letter supplementing the amended complaint was filed on July 10, 2018. The amended complaint, as supplemented, alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain water filters and components thereof that infringe patents asserted by the complainants. The complainants request 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:
Shenzen Calux Purification Technology Co., Limited, of Guangdong, China;
Ningbo Pureza Limited of Ningbo, China;
JiangSu Angkua Environmental Technical Co., Ltd., of RuGao, China;
Ecopure Filter Co., Ltd., of Qindao, China;
Shenzhen Dakon Purification Tech Co., Ltd., of Guangdong, China;
HongKong Ecoaqua Co., Limited, of Hong Kong, China;
Ecolife Technologies, Inc., of City of Industry, CA; and
Crystala Filters LLC of Patterson, NJ.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-1126), 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.