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NEWS RELEASE 99-129; September 21, 1999 September 21, 1999
News Release 99-129
Inv. No. 337-TA-424

ITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION
ON CERTAIN CIGARETTES AND PACKAGING THEREOF

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain cigarettes and packaging thereof. The products at issue in this investigation are KOOL® and Lucky Strike® cigarettes manufactured and packaged in the United States for sale outside the United States, then re-imported into the United States.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. of Louisville, KY, on August 17, 1999. The complaint, as supplemented, alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain cigarettes and packaging thereof by reason of (a) infringement of registered trademarks owned by Brown & Williamson, (b) dilution of those trademarks, (c) false representation of source, and (d) false advertising. The complaint further alleges that the threat or effect of the proposed respondents' unfair acts is to destroy or substantially injure a domestic industry. In its complaint, Brown & Williamson requests that the ITC issue a permanent general exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders.

The ITC has identified the following companies as respondents in the investigation:

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-424), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The case will be referred to an ITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The administrative law judge 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 ITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the ITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. ITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the President of the United States within that 60-day period.

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