May 9, 2001
News Release 01-061
Inv. No. 337-TA-456

ITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION ON CERTAIN GEL-FILLED WRIST RESTS AND PRODUCTS CONTAINING SAME

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain gel- filled wrist rests and products containing same. The products at issue in this investigation are gel- filled wrist rests that are intended to reduce wrist fatigue and discomfort when working at a keyboard or with a mouse.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by 3M Innovative Properties Company and Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company of St. Paul, MN, on April 9, 2001, and supplemented on April 27 and May 1, 2001. 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 gel-filled wrist rests and products containing same that infringe a patent owned by 3M Innovative Properties Company and licensed to 3M. The complainant requests that the ITC issue a permanent exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders.

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

ACCO Brands, Inc., of Lincolnshire, IL;
Curtis Computer Products Inc. of Provo, UT;
Allsop, Inc., of Bellingham, WA;
American Covers Inc. of Draper, UT;
Gemini Industries, Inc., of Clifton, NJ;
Velo Enterprise Co., Ltd., of Taichung Hsien, Taiwan;
Aidma Enterprise Co. Ltd. of Hsi Chih City, Taipei County, Taiwan; and
Good Raise Chemical Ind. Co., Ltd., of Taichung City, Taiwan.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-456), 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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