On June 20, 2014, Sunlight Supply, Inc. (“Sunlight”) and IP Holdings, LLC (collectively, “Complainants”) 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 and/or sell in the U.S. certain light reflectors and components, packaging, and related advertising that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,641,367 (“the ‘367 patent”); D634,469; D644,185 and D545,485:

  • Sinowell (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. of China
  • Sinohydro Ltd. of China
  • Groco Enterprises, LLC of Bellevue, Washington
  • Good Nature Garden Supply of Sacramento, California
  • Aqua Serene, Inc. of Eugene, Oregon
  • Aurora Innovations, Inc. of Eugene, Oregon
  • Big Daddy Garden Supply, Inc. of Ukiah, California
  • Bizright, LLC of City of Industry, California
  • Coinstar Procurement, LLC of Bellevue, Washington
  • The Hydro Source II, Inc., of Santa Fe Springs, California
  • Insun, LLC of Bellevue, Washington
  • Lumz’N Blooms, Ltd. Corp. of Apopka, Florida
  • Parlux LP of Snohomish, Washington
  • Silversun, Inc. of Gig Harbor, Washington
  • Zimbali Group, Inc. of Bellevue, Washington

Complainants also allege that the federally registered trademarks XXXL and ECONO WING REFLECTOR are infringed, and that the Proposed Respondents are taking part in unfair methods of competition, such as false advertising.

According to the complaint, the asserted patents and trademarks generally relate to light reflectors used in indoor and greenhouse gardening, referred to as grow lamps, grow lights, or horticulture light fixtures.

Complainants assert that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the asserted patents and trademarks.  Complainants specifically refer to eight accused products, including several air-cooled reflectors, a non-air-cooled reflector, and an econo-wing reflector allegedly made and sold by Sinowell (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. (“Sinowell”) to the other Proposed Respondents.  Complainants also assert that Sinowell uses false advertising, the threat or effect of which “is to destroy or substantially injure an industry in the United States and/or to prevent the establishment of such an industry.”

Regarding domestic industry, Complainants state that Sunlight manufactures, inspects, packages, and distributes the majority of reflectors that exploit the patents and trademarks at issue.  Investments in plants devoted to these tasks (including both labor and capital) are alleged to meet the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement.  The technical prong is asserted to be met through at least two of Sunlight’s specific products alleged to practice at least a subset of claims of the ‘357 patent through the use of claim charts.  Additional products are alleged to use the goodwill associated with the asserted trademarks.

As to related litigation, Complainants state that on March 19, 2014, they filed suit against Universal Garden Supply & Manufacturing, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington for patent, trademark and trade dress infringement, and unfair competition.

With respect to potential remedy, Complainants request that the Commission issue a general exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders directed at Proposed Respondents in relation to the accused products.