February 21, 2008
News Release 08-013
Inv. No. 337-TA-632
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819


The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain refrigerators and components thereof. The products at issue in this investigation are refrigerators, particularly those with automatic in-door ice systems and bottom-mount pull out drawer freezers.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Whirlpool Patents Company and Whirlpool Manufacturing Corporation of St. Joseph, MI; Whirlpool Corporation of Benton Harbor, MI; and Maytag Corporation of Benton Harbor, MI, on January 23, 2008. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States of certain refrigerators and components thereof that infringe patents owned by the complainants. The complainants request that the ITC issue an exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

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

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-632), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The case will be referred to the Honorable Theodore R. Essex, an ITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. Judge Essex 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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