July 15, 2011
News Release 11-086
Inv. No. 337-TA-791
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

USITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION ON CERTAIN ELECTRIC FIREPLACES, COMPONENTS THEREOF, MANUALS FOR SAME, CERTAIN PROCESSES FOR MANUFACTURING OR RELATING TO SAME, AND CERTAIN PRODUCTS CONTAINING SAME

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain electric fireplaces, components thereof, certain processes for manufacturing or relating to same, and certain products containing same. The products at issue in this investigation are electric fireplaces, the associated user manuals, and electric fireplace components.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Twin-Star International Inc. of Del Ray Beach, FL, and TS Investment Holding Corp. of Miami, FL, on June 17, 2011, and supplements filed on July 1, 2011, and July 8, 2011. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain electric fireplaces, components thereof, manuals for same, certain processes for manufacturing or relating to same, and certain products containing same that are alleged to infringe copyrights asserted by the complainants, and by reason of misappropriation of trade secrets, and other unfair competition. The complainants request that the USITC issue an exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

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

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-791), the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The USITC's Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC's six administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ 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 USITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. USITC 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.

-- 30 --