On November 12, 2015, Belkin International, Inc. of Playa Vista, California (“Belkin”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that Dongguan Pinte Electronic Co., Ltd. and Dongguan Shijie Fresh Electronic Products Factory (collectively, “Dongguan”)—both of China—unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain computer cables, chargers, adapters, peripheral devices, and packaging containing the same that infringe Belkin’s BELKIN registered trademarks, namely U.S. Trademark Registration Nos. 2,339,459; 2,339,460; 4,168,379; and 4,538,212. 

According to the complaint, Belkin has expended significant amounts of effort and money to advertise and promote its products that bear the BELKIN trademarks, and, as a result of such expenditures, as well as the public’s widespread purchase and use of such products, the products have come to be well known and widely recognized as embodying high quality, durability, and reliability.

In the complaint, Belkin states that Dongguan imports and sells products that infringe the BELKIN trademarks.  The complaint specifically refers to alleged copycat products bearing the designation MELKIN as infringing products.

Regarding domestic industry, Belkin states that it has made significant investments in plant and equipment and engaged in a significant employment of labor and capital in connection with the production, sale, and support of products that bear the BELKIN trademarks in the U.S.  Belkin further states that it has made significant investments in the exploitation of the BELKIN trademarks in the U.S., including engineering, research, and development.  Belkin refers to a confidential declaration submitted with its complaint for additional details concerning its domestic industry.

As to related litigation, Belkin states that on August 18, 2015, it instituted a trademark opposition proceeding against an individual named Shan Huang in connection with such individual’s application for registration of the word MELKIN as a trademark.  Belkin states on information and belief that Shan Huang is one of the principal owners and officers of Dongguan.  Belkin further states that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has entered default against Shan Huang and dismissed the pending MELKIN trademark application.  Belkin also refers to trademark opposition proceedings against MELKIN in Australia, Mexico, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany, Singapore, and China.

With respect to potential remedy, Belkin requests that the Commission issue a general exclusion order, a limited exclusion order, and a permanent cease and desist order directed at Dongguan and related entities.  Belkin states that a general exclusion order is necessary to prevent circumvention of a limited exclusion order and/or to remedy a pattern of violation of Section 337.