By Eric Schweibenz and Alex Englehart
On October 31, 2017, Mighty Mug, Inc. of Rathway, New Jersey (“Mighty Mug”) filed a complaint 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 self-anchoring beverage containers that are intentionally and willfully designed to be used, and are used, in such manner as to infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 8,028,850 (the ’850 patent) and 8,757,418 (the ’418 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”) and that infringe U.S. Trademark Reg. No. 4,191,803 (the ’803 trademark”):

  • Calvert Retail, Inc. of Montchanin Mills, Delaware
  • U.S. Imprints, Inc. of Franklin, Tennessee
  • RushKing Promotions, Inc. of Brooklyn, New York
  • GOImprints, Inc. of Franklin, Tennessee
  • Artful Home, Inc. of Madison, Wisconsin
  • Swag Brokers, LLC of Phoenix, Arizona
  • 4AllPromos, Inc. of Centerbrook, Connecticut
  • Hirsch Gift, Inc. of Houston, Texas
  • Telebrands, Corp. of Fairfield, New Jersey
  • Sunrise Gifts, Inc. of Orlando, Florida
  • Sunrise Gifts and Souvenirs, Inc. of Foley, Alabama
  • Motivators, Inc. of Westbury, New York
  • AnyPromo.com, Inc. of Ontario, California
  • Quality Logo Products, Inc. of Aurora, Illinois
  • Shenzhen Smartop Industrial Co., Ltd. of China

According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to beverage containers for holding liquid or semi-liquid contents. In particular, the asserted patents relate to a method for consuming a beverage from a beverage container with minimal risk of spillage due to container tipping, such method including selecting a self-anchoring beverage container with directional release and attachment capability, effortlessly stabilizing the beverage container on a reference surface, and effortlessly releasing the beverage container by performing normal lifting of the beverage container. The ’803 trademark is directed to “Mighty Mug.”

In the complaint, Mighty Mug states that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the asserted patents and the ’803 trademark. The complaint specifically refers to various self-anchoring beverage containers associated with the Proposed Respondents that are imported from China into the U.S. as infringing products.

Regarding domestic industry, Mighty Mug states that its own self-anchoring beverage containers practice the ’803 trademark and claims of the asserted patents. Mighty Mug further states that all design, engineering, testing, research, and development of its domestic industry products occurs in the U.S. Mighty Mug also states that it currently has approximately 14 employees in the U.S. Mighty Mug additionally states that it is currently in the process of establishing the capability of manufacturing its domestic industry products in the U.S.

With respect to potential remedy, Mighty Mug requests that the Commission issue a general exclusion order and a cease and desist order directed at the Proposed Respondents. Mighty Mug states that a general exclusion order is warranted to prevent circumvention of a limited exclusion order, and because there is a pattern of violation of Section 337 and it is difficult to identify the source of infringing products.