The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain toner cartridges, components thereof, and systems containing same. 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 Brother Industries, Ltd., of Aichi-ken, Japan; Brother International Corporation (U.S.A.) of Bridgewater, NJ; and Brother Industries (U.S.A.), Inc., of Bartlett, TN, on August 19, 2019. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain toner cartridges, components thereof, and systems containing same that infringe patents asserted by the complainants. The complainants request 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:
- AMI Brothers, Inc., of San Bruno, CA;
- An An Beauty Limited of Kowloon, Hong Kong;
- Aster Graphics, Inc., of Riverside, CA;
- Aztech Enterprises Limited of Kowloon, Hong Kong;
- Billiontree Technology USA Inc. of City of Industry, CA;
- Carlos Imaging Supplies, Inc., of Hacienda Heights, CA;
- Cartridge Evolution, Inc., of Brooklyn, NY;
- Do it Wiser, LLC, of Wilmington, DE;
- Eco Imaging Inc. of Irvine, CA;
- Ecoolsmart Co. of Rowland Heights, CA;
- EPrinter Solution LLC of Pomona, CA;
- E-Z Ink Inc. of Brooklyn, NY;
- Globest Trading Inc. of Ontario, CA;
- Greencycle Tech, Inc., of South El Monte, CA;
- Hongkong Boze Co., Ltd., of Kowloon, Hong Kong;
- I8 International, Inc., of City of Industry, CA;
- IFree E-Commerce Co. of Kowloon, Hong Kong;
- Ikong E-Commerce of Walnut, CA;
- Intercon International Corp of Brea, CA;
- IPrint Enterprise Limited of Kowloon, Hong Kong;
- LD Products, Inc., of Kowloon, Hong Kong;
- Linkyo Corp. of La Puente, CA;
- Mangoket LLC of Alhambra, CA;
- New Era Image LLC of Corona, CA;
- OW Supplies Corp. of Corona, CA;
- Solong E-Commerce Co., LLC, of Wan Chai, Hong Kong;
- Smartjet E-Commerce Co., LLC, of Wan Chai, Hong Kong;
- Super Warehouse Inc. of Blaine, WA;
- Theresa Meng of Brooklyn, NY;
- Triple Best LLC of San Diego, CA;
- V4ink, Inc., of Diamond Bar, CA; and
- Zhuhai Xiaohui E-Commerce Co., Ltd., of Xiangzhou District, Zhuhai, China.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-1174), 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.