The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain beverage brewing capsules, components thereof, and products containing the same. The products at issue in this investigation are individual capsules used in consumer machines for brewing or making beverages such as coffee and tea.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Adrian Rivera of Whittier, CA, and ARM Enterprises, Inc., of Santa Fe Springs, CA, on August 4, 2014. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain beverage brewing capsules, components thereof, and products containing the same that infringe a patent asserted by the complainants. The complainants request that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.
The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:
Solofill LLC of Houston, TX;
DonGuan Hai Rui Precision Mould Co., Ltd., of Dong Guan City,
GuangDong Province, China;
Eko Brands, LLC, of Woodinville, WA;
Evermuch Technology Co., Ltd., of Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong;
Ever Much Company Ltd. of Shenzhen, China;
Melitta USA, Inc., of North Clearwater, FL;
LBP Mfg. Inc. of Cicero, IL;
LBP Packaging (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd. of Baoan District Shenzhen, Guangdon, China;
Spark Innovators, Corp., Fairfield, NJ;
B. Marlboros International Ltd. (HK) of Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong; and
Amazon.com, Inc., of Seattle, WA.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-929), 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 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.