May 4, 2004
News Release 04-037
Inv. No. 337-TA-508

ITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION ON CERTAIN ABSORBENT GARMENTS

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain absorbent garments. The products at issue in this investigation are disposable absorbent garments such as diapers for babies and small children and incontinence products designed for adults.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Tyco Healthcare Retail Group, Inc., and Paragon Trade Brands, Inc., both of King of Prussia, PA, on April 5, 2004, alleging 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 absorbent garments that infringe patents owned by the complainants. The complainants request that the ITC issue a permanent general exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order.

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

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-508), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The case will be referred to the Honorable Charles E. Bullock, an ITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. Judge Bullock 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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