05
Feb
By John Presper
On January 27, 2021, the ITC issued a General Exclusion Order (“GEO”) in Certain Foldable Reusable Drinking Straws and Components and Accessories Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-1183).

By way of background, this investigation was based on a November 13, 2019 complaint filed by The Final Co. LLC of Santa Fe, New Mexico (“Final”) alleging a violation of section 337 by 17 respondents based in China that imported and/or sold in the U.S. certain foldable reusable drinking straws and components and accessories thereof that infringed one or more claims of U.S. Patent No. 10,123,641 (“the ’641 patent”). Two of the respondents were terminated from the investigation on March 9, 2020 based on Final’s partial withdrawal of the complaint. On March 16, 2020, the Commission found the remaining 15 respondents in default.

According to the Order, the Commission determined that a GEO is necessary to prevent circumvention of an exclusion order limited to products of named persons or because there is a pattern of violation of section 337 and it is difficult to identify the source of infringing products. Accordingly, the GEO bars the unlicensed importation of foldable reusable drinking straws and components and accessories thereof that infringe one or more of claims 1-12 and 14-17 of the ’641 patent. The foldable reusable drinking straws and components and accessories thereof that are subject to the GEO are as follows: “individual foldable reusable drinking straws and components thereof, cases used to store the foldable reusable drinking straws, and tools used for cleaning the foldable reusable drinking straws.” The Commission also determined that the public interest factors do not preclude issuance of the GEO, and that the bond during the Presidential review period shall be 100% of the entered value of the imported articles subject to the GEO.
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