On January 25, 2022, the ITC issued a Notice of Investigation in Certain High-Performance Gravity-Fed Water Filters and Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-1294).
By way of background, this investigation is based on a December 22, 2021 complaint filed by Brita LP of Switzerland (“Brita”) alleging violations of section 337 by Respondents EcoLife Technologies, Inc. of City of Industry, California; Qingdao Ecopure Filter Co., Ltd. of China; Kaz USA, Inc. of El Paso, Texas; Helen of Troy Limited of El Paso, Texas; Zero Technologies, LLC of Trevose, Pennsylvania; Culligan International Co. of Rosemont, Illinois; Vestergaard Frandsen Inc. of Baltimore, Maryland; Mavea LLC of West Linn, Oregon; and Brita GmbH of Germany (collectively, “Respondents”) in the unlawful importation/sale of certain high-performance gravity-fed water filters and products containing the same by reason of infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,167,141 (“the ’141 patent”).
According to the complaint, the ’141 patent generally relates to gravity-fed filters that have rapid flow rates and excellent lead filtration performance. Respondents’ accused products are gravity-fed water filters that meet a combination of high-performance criteria relating to filter rate and lead volume, lead reduction, and lifetime usage, and water container products that are sold with such filters. Brita is requesting that the Commission issue limited exclusion orders and permanent cease-and-desist orders directed to Respondents. According to the Notice of Investigation, the Office of Unfair Import Investigations will not participate as a party in the investigation. Lastly, Acting Chief ALJ Clark S. Cheney issued a notice indicating that ALJ MaryJoan McNamara will preside in the investigation.