The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain foldable reusable drinking straws and components and accessories thereof. 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 The Final Co. LLC of Santa Fe, NM, on October 9, 2019, as amended on October 29, 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 foldable reusable drinking straws and components and accessories thereof that infringe a patent 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:
Huizhou Sinri Technology Company Limited of Huizhou, Guangdong, China;
Hebei Serun Import and Export Trade Co., Ltd., of Shijiazhuang, Hebei, China;
Dongguan Stirling Metal Products Co., Ltd., of Dongguan, Guangdong, China;
Ningbo Wwpartner Plastic Manufacture Co., Ltd., of Ningbo, Zhejiang, China;
Shenzhen Yuanzhen Technology Co., Ltd., Longhua District, Shenzhen, China;
Jiangmen Boyan Houseware Co., Ltd., of Jiangmen, Guangdong, China;
Shanghai Rbin Industry And Trade Co., Ltd., of Shanghai, China;
Jiangmen Shengke Hardware Products Co., Ltd., of Jiangmen, Guangdon, China;
Funan Anze Trading Co., Ltd., of Fuyang, Anhui, China;
Hangzhou Keteng Trade Co., Ltd., of Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China;
Hunan Jiudi Shiye Import And Export Trading Co., Ltd., of Changsha, Hunan, China;
Shenzhen Yaya Gifts Co., Ltd., of Shenzhen, Guangdong, China;
Ningbo Weixu International Trade Co., Ltd., of Ningbo, Zhejiang, China;
Ningbo Beland Commodity Co., Ltd., of Ningbo, Zhejiang, China;
Xiamen One X Piece Imp.& Exp. Co., Ltd., of Xiamen, Fujian, China;
Hunan Champion Top Technology Co., Ltd., of Changsha city, Hunan province, China; and
Yiwu Lizhi Trading Firm of Jinhua, Zhejiang, China.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-1183), 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.