By John Presper

On January 5, 2022, the Commission issued a notice of its final determination of a violation of section 337 and issuance of a general exclusion order (“GEO”) in Certain Vacuum Insulated Flasks and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-1216).

By way of background, this investigation was instituted on August 28, 2020 based on a complaint by Hydro Flask Steel Technology, LLC d/b/a Hydro Flask and Helen of Troy Limited (collectively, “Hydro Flask”) alleging violations of section 337 by Respondents Cangnan Kaiyisi E-Commerce Technology Co., Ltd.; Shenzhen Huichengyuan Technology Co., Ltd.; Sinbada Impex Co., Ltd.; Yongkang Huiyun Commodity Co., Ltd.; Wuyi Loncin Bottle Co., Ltd.; Zhejiang Yuchuan Industry & Trade Co., Ltd.; Zhejiang Yongkang Unique Industry & Trade Co., Ltd.; Suzhou Prime Gifts Co., Ltd.; Hangzhou Yuehua Technology Co., Ltd.; Guangzhou Yawen Technology Co., Ltd.; Jinhua City Ruizhi E-Commerce Co., Ltd.; Wo Ma Te (Tianjin) International Trade Co., Ltd.; and Shenzhen City Yaxin General Machinery Co., Ltd. (collectively, “Respondents”) and seeking a GEO due to the infringement of U.S. Design Patent Nos. D806,468; D786,012; and D799,320; and U.S. Trademark Registration Nos. 4,055,784; 5,295,365; 5,176,888; and 4,806,282.  The asserted patents relate to vacuum insulated flasks made of stainless steel and caps for such flasks, including round caps with a strap secured on either side of the cap and straw caps.  On September 3, 2021, Chief ALJ Charles E. Bullock issued an initial determination (“ID”) granting Hydro Flask’s motion for summary determination of violation of section 337 by Respondents, all of whom defaulted.  See our October 2, 2021 post for more details regarding the ID.

According to the notice, the Commission determined to review the ID’s finding that Hydro Flask satisfied the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement, and on review, affirmed the ID.  The Commission also agreed that the appropriate remedy is a GEO, and entered a bond of 100%.

We will post the Commission's opinion when it becomes available.

UPDATE:  On February 3, 2022, the Commission issued the public version of its opinion.

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