The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain pocket lighters. The products at issue in the investigation are described in the Commission’s notice of investigation.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by BIC Corporation of Shelton, CT, on December 6, 2018. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain pocket lighters that infringe registered trademarks asserted by the complainant. The complainant requests that the USITC issue a general exclusion order, or in the alternative a limited exclusion order, and cease and desist orders.
The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:
Arrow Lighter, Inc., d/b/a MK Lighter, Inc., and MK Lighter Company of City of Industry, CA;
Benxi Fenghe Lighter Co., Ltd., of Benxi, Liaoning Province, China;
Excel Wholesale Distributors Inc. of College Point, NY;
Milan Import Export Company, LLC, of San Diego, CA;
Wellpine Company Limited of Hong Kong; and
Zhuoye Lighter Manufacturing Co, Ltd., of Foshan City, Guangdong, China.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-1142), 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.