By John Presper

On November 4, 2021, the ITC issued a Notice of Investigation in Certain Oil-Vaping Cartridges, Components Thereof, and Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-1286).

By way of background, this investigation is based on an October 4, 2021 complaint filed by Shenzhen Smoore Techology Limited of China (“Smoore”) alleging a violation of section 337 by 38 respondents in the U.S., Canada, and Hong Kong in the unlawful importation and/or sale in the U.S. of certain oil-vaping cartridges, components thereof, and products containing the same by reason of infringement of (1) certain claims of Patent No. 10,357,623 (“the ’623 patent”); U.S. Patent No. 10,791,763 (“the ’763 patent”); U.S. Patent No. 10,791,762 (“the ’762 patent”); and U.S. Registered Trademark No. 5,633,060 (“the ’060 mark”).

According to the complaint, the ’623 patent relates generally to a vaporizer/atomizer device, which includes a liquid storage cavity, where that cavity expressly excludes the presence of a wick or other liquid-storage medium; the ’763 patent relates generally to a vaporizer/atomizer device, which includes a liquid storage cavity open at a mouthpiece end to the outside before a mouthpiece is installed; and the ’762 patent relates generally to an electronic cigarette that includes a vaporizer/atomizer assembly and a liquid storage cavity.  The ’060 mark is a standard character CCELL mark under which Smoore markets, advertises, and sells vaporizer products, such as electronic cigarettes, oral vaporizers for smokers, and vaporizes cartridges.  The accused products are atomizers, cartridges, mouthpieces, vaporizers, and vaping products used to inhale cannabidiol (“CBD”) and/or marinal (“THC”).  Smoore is requesting that the Commission issue limited exclusion orders and permanent cease-and-desist orders directed to respondents.  According to the Notice of Investigation, the Office of Unfair Import Investigations will participate as a party in the investigation.  Lastly, Chief ALJ Charles E. Bullock issued a notice indicating that ALJ Clark S. Cheney will preside in the investigation.