On September 19, 2017, Cotton Babies, Inc. of Fenton, Missouri (“Cotton Babies”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.
The complaint alleges that Alvababy.com of China, Shenzhen Adsel Trading Co., Ltd. d/b/a Alva of China, and Huizhou Huapin Garment Co., Ltd. of China (collectively, the “Proposed Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain reusable diapers, components thereof, and products containing the same that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,518,007 (the ’007 patent) and U.S. Trademark Reg. No. 4,120,270 (the ’270 trademark).
According to the complaint, the ’007 patent relates to reusable diapers that include an array of snap members that allow for different size settings, which allows for re-use by babies as they grow. The ’270 trademark relates to the overall appearance of Cotton Babies’ Butterfy Design used in Cotton Babies’ bumGenius and Flip series reusable cloth diapers.
In the complaint, Cotton Babies states that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the ’007 patent and ’270 trademark. The complaint specifically refers to various lines of reusable cloth diapers associated with the Proposed Respondents as infringing products.
Regarding domestic industry, Cotton Babies states that its own reusable diaper products—including its bumGenius and Flip series diapers—practice the ’270 trademark and claims of the ’007 patent. The complaint further states that Cotton Babies maintains a facility in Missouri where it manufactures, develops, and tests its domestic industry diapers. Cotton Babies also states that it employs numerous individuals in the U.S. who are involved in the development, sale, and distribution of its domestic industry diapers.
With respect to potential remedy, Cotton Babies requests that the Commission issue a permanent limited and/or general exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders directed at the Proposed Respondents. Cotton Babies states that a general exclusion order is warranted because there are numerous infringing products entering the U.S., under brand name or private label, and it is extremely difficult to identify the sources of these infringing products. Cotton Babies further states that the Proposed Respondents are actively trying to gain more distributors in the U.S. that will import and sell after importation allegedly-infringing reusable cloth diapers, sometimes under private label. Cotton Babies also states that there are no significant technical barriers to copying Cotton Babies’ protected trademark and patented technology.