By Eric Schweibenz and John Presper
On June 12, 2018, Walbro, LLC of Tucson Arizona (“Walbro”) filed a complaint (part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4) requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that the following entities (collectively, the “Proposed Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain carburetors and products containing same that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,394,424 (the ’424 patent), 6,439,547 (the ’547 patent), 6,533,254 (the ’254 patent), 6,540,212 (the ’212 patent), and 7,070,173 (the ’173 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”):

  • Ruixing Carburetor Manufacturing Co., Ltd, Zhejiang of China
  • Huayi Carburetor Factory of China
  • Tillotson of Ireland
  • Fujian Hualong Carburetor Co., Ltd. of China
  • Fuding Guangda General Machinery Co., Ltd. of China
  • Wuyi Henghai Tools Co., Ltd. of China
  • Fuding Youyi Trade Co., Ltd. of China
  • Amazon.com, Inc. of Seattle, Washington
  • Amerisun Inc. of Itasca, Illinois
  • Ardisam, Inc. of Cumberland, Wisconsin
  • Buffalo Corporation of O’Fallon, Missouri
  • Cabela’s Inc. of Sidney, Nebraska
  • Champion Power Equipment, Inc. of Santa Fe Springs, California
  • Feldman Eng. & Mfg. Co., Inc. of Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin
  • FNA Group, Inc. of Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
  • Frictionless World, LLC of Denver, Colorado
  • Generac Power Systems, Inc. of Waukesha, Wisconsin
  • Husqvarna Professional Products, Inc. of Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Imperial Industrial Supply Co. d/b/a Duromax Power Equipment of Ontario, California
  • KMART Corp. of Hoffman Estates, Illinois
  • Lowe’s Companies, Inc. of Mooresville, North Carolina
  • Mat Industries, LLC of Lake Zurich, Illinois
  • Menards, Inc. of Eau Claire, Wisconsin
  • MTD Products Inc. of Valley City, Ohio
  • North American Tool Industries of Huntington, Indiana
  • Northern Tool & Equipment Co., Inc. of Burnsville, Minnesota
  • QV Tools LLC of Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Sears, Roebuck and Co. of Hoffman Estates, Illinois
  • Target Corp. of Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Techtronics Industries Co. Ltd. of Hong Kong d/b/a Techtronic Industries Power Equipment
  • The Home Depot, Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia
  • Thunderbay Products of Clayton, Wisconsin
  • Tool Tuff Direct LLC of Golden, Colorado
  • Tractor Supply Company of Brentwood, Tennessee
  • Walmart, Inc. of Bentonville, Arkansas

According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to various aspects and features of carburetors for use in small or utility gasoline engines used in chainsaws, leaf blowers, lawn trimmers, earth augers, ice augers, cultivators, water pumps, electricity generators, and mini dirt bikes. In particular, the ’424 relates to a carburetor that includes a fuel pump with a membrane called a diaphragm that divides an internal cavity of the carburetor into a pressure pulse chamber and a fuel chamber. The ’547 relates to a carburetor with a “throat” passage through which air enters the carburetor and into which fuel is discharged to be mixed with the air to form the fuel and air mixture that is delivered to the engine. The ’173 and ’212 patents relate to a carburetor with a fuel circuit through which a metered amount of fuel is delivered into a fuel and air mixing passage through which air flows. The ’254 patent relates to a manually actuatable primer fuel pump of a carburetor for a small engine.

In the complaint, Walbro states that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the asserted patents. The complaint specifically refers to various handheld carburetors products containing same that are made, sold, offered for sale, and/or imported by the Proposed Respondents.

Regarding domestic industry, Walbro states that it offers several carburetor products that practice one or more of the asserted claims and has spent tens of millions of dollars in the United States to create, design, develop, test, and support such products for use by U.S. consumers. Walbro also asserts that it has earned hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue on its domestic industry products. Walbro further states that it has and continues to make substantial investments in the U.S. to create and support its domestic industry products, including significant U.S. investment in plant and equipment, significant employment of U.S. labor, and/or substantial investment in U.S. exploitation of the asserted Patents, including marketing, engineering, and research and development through its Cass City, Michigan facility.

The complaint does not identify and related court or agency litigation.

With respect to potential remedy, Walbro requests that the Commission issue a general exclusion order as well as cease-and-desist orders directed to the Proposed Respondents and related entities. Alternatively, Walbro requests that a limited exclusion order be entered against the accused products of Proposed Respondents and related entities.