By John Presper

On December 20, 2021, the ITC issued a Notice of Investigation in Certain Playards and Strollers (Inv. No. 337-TA-1288).

By way of background, this investigation is based on an November 24, 2021 complaint filed by Graco Children’s Products Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia and Wonderland Nurserygoods Co., Ltd. of Taiwan (collectively, “Complainants”) alleging violations of section 337 by Respondents Baby Trend, Inc. of Fontana, California; Dongguan Golden Prosper Baby Products Co., Ltd. of China; Sichuan Hobbies Baby Products Co., Ltd. of China; and Anhui Chile Baby Products Co., Ltd.  of China (collectively, “Respondents”) in the unlawful importation and/or sale in the U.S. of certain playards and strollers by reason of infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 9,706,855 (“the ’855 patent”); U.S. Patent No. 9,414,694 (“the ’694 patent”); U.S. Patent No. RE43,919 (“the ’919 patent”) and U.S. Patent No. 6,979,017 (“the ’017 patent”).

According to the complaint, the ’855 and ’694 patents are directed to child containment systems (playards) that include a bassinet and an infant support unit in different configurations; the ’919 patent is directed to a playard with a rigid frame and an enclosure member, typically made of soft, pliable materials; and the ’017 patent describes a stroller with a foldable frame that has a relatively simple construction and is easy to fabricate at a low cost.  The accused products are playards and strollers sold under the trade name Baby Trend.  Complainants are 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 not participate as a party in the investigation.  Lastly, Chief ALJ Charles E. Bullock issued a notice indicating that he will preside in the investigation.

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