ITC Issues Notice of Final Determination Finding Violation And General Exclusion Order In Certain Handbags And Luggage (337-TA-754)
On May 30, 2012, the International Trade Commission (the “Commission”) issued a notice finding a violation of Section 337, and determining that a general exclusion order should issue in Certain Handbags and Luggage, Accessories, and Packaging Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-754).
By way of background, Louis Vuitton filed a complaint requesting the ITC to commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337 against a host of respondents from Guangzhou China, Texas and California, for the unlawful import into the U.S., sale for importation, and/or sale within the U.S. after importation of certain handbags, luggage, accessories and packaging thereof that infringe U.S. Trademark Registration Nos. 297,594; 1,643,625; 1,653,663; 2,773,107; 2,177,828; 2,181,753; and 1,519,828. In effect, the respondents were alleged to be in the business of manufacturing, and/or purchasing counterfeit or trademark-infringing Louis Vuitton bags and accessories from China and selling them in the United States. See our December 8, 2010 post for more details. On June 10, 2011, former Chief ALJ Luckern issued an initial determination finding that Louis Vuitton satisfied the domestic industry requirement. See our July 27, 2011 post for more details. During the course of this Investigation, all respondents either settled or were found in default. The defaulting respondents were identified as House of Bags, Ronett Trading, Inc., EZ Shine Group, Inc., Master of Handbags, Choice Handbags, Handbag Warehouse, T&T, and The Inspired Bagger (collectively, “the Defaulting Respondents”). On March 5, 2012, Chief ALJ Charles E. Bullock granted Louis Vuitton’s motion for summary determination that the Defaulting Respondents violated section 337, and further recommended a general exclusion order (GEO) and a bond in the amount of 100% of the value of imported products. See our March 20, 2012 post for more details.
According to the May 30 notice, the Commission determined not to review Chief ALJ Bullock’s March 5, 2012 Initial Determination, and requested briefing on remedy, the public interest, and bonding. In Louis Vuitton’s April 26, 2012 brief, it indicated it was no longer requesting relief based on U.S. Trademark Registrations 1,643,625 and 1,653,663, but it requested a GEO and a bond of 100 percent, which was supported by the Commission Investigative Attorney. Upon review of the submissions received in response to the Commission’s notice of review, and the record of the investigation, the Commission determined to issue a general exclusion order prohibiting the unlicensed entry of excluded handbags, luggage, accessories, and packaging that infringe any of the following U.S. Trademark Registration Nos.: 297,594; 2,773,107; 2,177,828; 2,181,753; and 1,519,828. The Commission also determined that a bond in the amount of 100% of an article’s value is required for temporary import during the Presidential review period. According to the notice, the Commission additionally terminated the investigation.