By Eric Schweibenz and Alex EnglehartOn December 30, 2016, Lifetime Products, Inc. of Clearfield, Utah (“Lifetime”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.
The complaint alleges that Russel Brands, LLC d/b/a Spalding of Bowling Green, Kentucky (“Russel”) and Reliable Sports Equipment (Wujiang) Co. Ltd. of China (collectively, the “Proposed Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain basketball backboard components and products containing the same that infringe one or more claims of Lifetime’s U.S. Patent Nos. 7,749,111 (the ’111 patent), 8,845,463 (the ’463 patent), and 8,852,034 (the ’034 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”).
According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to residential basketball backboard technology. In particular, the asserted patents relate to attaching sheets of glass or other clear materials to a metal backboard frame with a bead of robotically-applied adhesive sandwiched between the backboard and frame, thereby presenting substantial cost savings in terms of labor and material.
In the complaint, Lifetime states that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the asserted patents. The complaint specifically refers to various Spalding-branded residential basketball backboards and products containing same as infringing products.
Regarding domestic industry, Lifetime states that it operates a facility in Utah where it conducts research, development, testing, manufacturing, packaging, warehousing, shipping, sales, marketing, and support related to products that practice the asserted patents. According to the complaint, this facility includes 3,157,000 square feet of space.
As to related litigation, Lifetime states that on February 10, 2012, it filed a complaint against Russell in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah alleging infringement of the ’111 patent. According to the complaint, the ‘463 and ’034 patents were subsequently added to this district court litigation, and such litigation is now stayed pending completion of proceedings at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) concerning related patents (other than the ’111, ’463, and ’034 patents). Lifetime further states that the ’111 patent was previously the subject of an ex parte reexamination proceeding at the USPTO. Lifetime further states that it previously asserted the ’111 patent against Pro Performance Sports, LLC in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, but that that case settled soon after it began.
With respect to potential remedy, Lifetime requests that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders directed at the Proposed Respondents and related entities.