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NEWS RELEASE 00-039; MARCH 8, 2000 March 8, 2000
News Release 00-039
Inv. No. 337-TA-429

ITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION
ON CERTAIN BAR CLAMPS, BAR CLAMP PADS,
AND RELATED PACKAGING, DISPLAY, AND OTHER MATERIALS

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain bar clamps, bar clamp pads, and related packaging, display, and other materials. The products at issue in this investigation are hand tools typically used to hold parts together during gluing or assembly.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by American Tool Companies, Inc., of Hoffman Estates, IL, and its subsidiary, Petersen Manufacturing Co., Inc., of DeWitt, NE, on February 9, 2000, and supplemented on March 1, 2000. 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 bar clamps, bar clamp pads, and related packaging, display, and other materials that infringe a patent and registered trademarks owned by American Tool and Petersen Manufacturing and that misappropriate their trade dress. In their complaint, the complainants request that the ITC issue a permanent 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-429), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The case will be referred to the Honorable Sidney Harris, an ITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. Judge Harris 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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