March 29, 2010
News Release 10-027
Inv. No. 337-TA-708
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819
USITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION
ON CERTAIN STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND COMPONENTS THEREOF (II)
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain stringed musical instruments and components thereof. The products at issue in this investigation are fulcrum tremolos and stringed musical instruments such as headless or tuner-less electric guitars equipped with such tremolos.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Geoffrey Lee McCabe of Hollywood, CA, on February 26, 2010. A letter supplementing the complaint was filed on March 18, 2010. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain stringed musical instruments and components thereof that infringe patents asserted by McCabe. The complainant requests that the USITC issue an exclusion order and cease and desist orders.
The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:
Floyd Rose Guitars of Redmond, WA;
Floyd Rose Marketing Inc. of Neptune, NJ;
Davitt & Hanser Music Co., d/b/a HHI, of Hebron, KY;
Ping Well Industrial Co., Ltd., of Taiwan;
IBANEZ, Inc. (Hoshino) US of Bensalem, PA; and
IBANEZ, Inc. (Hoshino) Japan of Japan.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-708), 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.