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USITC Institutes Section 337 Investigation of Certain Electronic Candle Products and Components Thereof

March 31, 2020
News Release 20-017
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819
USITC Institutes Section 337 Investigation of Certain Electronic Candle Products and Components Thereof

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain electronic candle products and components 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 L&L Candle Company LLC of Brea, CA, and Sotera Tschetter, Inc., of St. Paul, MN, on March 2, 2020.  Supplements to the complaint were filed on March 18 and 20, 2020.  The complaint, as supplemented, alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain electronic candle products and components thereof 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:

The Gerson Company of Olathe, KS;
Gerson International (H.K.) Ltd. of Kowloon, Hong Kong;
Sterno Home Inc. of Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada;
Ningbo Huamao International Trading Co., Ltd., of Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province, China;
Ningbo Yinzhou Langsheng Artware Co., Ltd., of Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province, China;
Lifetime Brands, Inc., Garden City, NY;
Scott Brothers Entertainment, Inc., of Las Vegas, NV;
Nantong Ya Tai Candle Arts & Crafts Co., Ltd., of San Gabriel, CA;
NapaStyle, Inc., of Napa, CA;
Veraflame International, Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada;
MerchSource, LLC, of Irvine, CA;
Ningbo Mascube Import Export Company of Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province, China;
Decorware International Inc. dba Decorware Inc. of Rancho Cucamonga, CA;
Shenzhen Goldenwell Smart Technology Co., Ltd., of Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, China;
Shenzhen Ksperway Technology Co., Ltd., of Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, China;
Ningbo Shanhuang Electric Appliance Co. of Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province, China;
Yiwu Shengda Art Co., Ltd., of Yiwu City, Zhejiang Province, China;
Shenzhen Tongfang Optoelectronic Technology Co., Ltd., of Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, China;
TFL Candles of Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, China;
Guangdong Tongfang Lighting Co., Ltd., of Wan Chai, Hong Kong;
Tongfang Optoelectric Company of Kwun Tong, Hong Kong; and
Virtual Candles Limited of Maidstone, Kent, United Kingdom.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-1195), 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.

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