On June 8, 2017, Rio Brands, LLC of West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania (“Rio Brands”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that GCI Outdoor, Inc. of Higganum, Connecticut (“GCI”) unlawfully imports into the U.S., sells for importation, and/or sells within the U.S. after importation certain backpack chairs that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent No. RE39,022 (the ’022 patent).

According to the complaint, the ’022 patent relates to a folding backpack chair which may include, for example, a frame made from a metal alloy or plastic, a U-shaped seat frame, U-shaped front leg and back leg frames, a pair of arm rests coupled to the back frame, shoulder straps for wearing the product as a backpack, and a container having a forward wall panel coupled to a back side of the first panel adjacent to the back frame.

In the complaint, Rio Brands states that GCI imports and sells products that infringe the ’022 patent. The complaint specifically refers to the Freestyle Rocker, Big Comfort Stadium Chair, and BleecherBack [BB] Lumbar chair as exemplary infringing products.

Regarding domestic industry, Rio Brands states that its own backpack chairs practice claims of the ’022 patent. Rio Brands further states that it conducts relevant research and development, design, engineering, product support, sales, and marketing activities in the U.S. relating to products that practice the ’022 patent. Rio Brands specifically refers to facilities in Pennsylvania where it conducts activities related to its domestic industry products.

As to related litigation, Rio Brands states that on May 12, 2017, it sued GCI in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, alleging infringement of the ’022 patent.

With respect to potential remedy, Rio Brands requests that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order directed at GCI and related entities.