December 21, 2007
News Release 07-131
Inv. No. 337-TA-623
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

ITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION ON CERTAIN R-134a COOLANT (OTHERWISE KNOWN AS 1,1,1,2-TETRAFLUOROETHANE)

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain R-134a coolant. The product at issue in this investigation, which is also known as 1,1,1,2- tetrafluoroethane, R- 1 34a, HFA-134a, HFC-134a and R-134a refrigerant, is used in automobile air conditioning systems and other cooling and air conditioning systems.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by INEOS Fluor Holdings Limited and INEOS Fluor Limited, both of the United Kingdom, and INEOS Fluor Americas LLC of St. Gabriel, LA, on November 20, 2007. An amended complaint and letter supplementing the Complaint were filed on December 13, 2007. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States of certain R-134a coolant made (otherwise known as 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane) by a process that infringes a patent owned by INEOS Fluor. The complainants requests that the ITC issue a general exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

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

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-623), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The case will be referred to the Honorable Paul J. Luckern, an ITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. Judge Luckern 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 U.S. Trade Representative within that 60-day period.

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