On June 20, 2016, the U.S. International Trade Commission (“Commission”) issued a press release announcing their vote to institute an investigation of Certain Inflatable Products with Tensioning Structures and Processes for Making the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-1009).

By way of background, this investigation is based on a May 19, 2016 complaint filed by Intex Recreation Corp. of Long Beach, California and Intex Marketing Ltd. of the British Virgin Islands alleging violation of Section 337 by way of unlawful importation into the U.S., selling for importation, and/or selling within the U.S. after importation certain inflatable products that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 8,562,773 and 9,156,203. See our May 19, 2016 post for more details on the complaint.

According to the Notice of Investigation, the Commission has identified Bestway (USA), Inc. of Phoenix, Arizona, Bestway Global Holdings, Inc. of China, Bestway (Hong Kong) International, Ltd. of Hong Kong, Bestway Inflatables & Materials Corp. of China, and Bestway (Nantong) Recreation Corp. of China as the respondents. The Notice of Investigation further provides:

the presiding Administrative Law Judge shall hold an early evidentiary hearing, find facts, and issue an early decision, as to whether the complainant has satisfied the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement. Any such decision shall be in the form of an initial determination (ID). Petitions for review of such an ID shall be due five calendar days after service of the ID; any replies shall be due three business days after service of a petition. The ID will become the Commission's final determination 30 days after the date of service of the ID unless the Commission determines to review the ID. Any such review will be conducted in accordance with Commission Rules 210.43,210.44, and 210.45, 19 C.F.R. §§ 210.43,210.44, and 210.45. The Commission expects the issuance of an early ID relating to the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement within 100 days of institution, except that the presiding ALJ may grant a limited extension of the ID for good cause shown. The issuance of an early ID finding that complainants do not satisfy the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement shall stay the investigation unless the Commission orders otherwise; any other decision shall not stay the investigation or delay the issuance of a final ID covering the other issues of the investigation.

Lastly, Chief ALJ Bullock issued a notice indicating that MaryJoan McNamara will be the presiding Administrative Law Judge in this matter.