March 7, 2005
News Release 05-021
Inv. No. 337-TA-532
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

ITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION ON CERTAIN AUTOMOTIVE FUEL CAPS AND COMPONENTS THEREOF

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain automotive fuel caps and components thereof. The products at issue in this investigation are fuel caps for use as original equipment by automobile manufacturers and for use as replacement parts in the automotive aftermarket.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Stant Manufacturing, Inc., of Connersville, IN, on January 28, 2005, 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 automotive fuel caps and components thereof that infringe patents owned by Stant. Stant filed a motion for temporary relief along with its complaint. The complaint requests that the ITC issue a temporary exclusion order and temporary cease and desist orders pending completion of the investigation and a permanent exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders upon a finding of a violation of section 337.

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

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-532), 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 determine whether to issue temporary exclusion or temporary cease and desist orders, or both, within 90 days after institution of the investigation. The Commission 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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