Washington, DC – Seventeen of the apparel world’s largest denim jeans manufacturers are being targeted with a ‘Section 337′ investigation on charges of patent infringement by the US International Trade Commission (ITC).
The investigation stems from a complaint filed by RevoLaze Inc., a laser technology firm headquartered in Westlake, Ohio, charging that the manufacturers violated US patent law by illegally utilizing the company’s proprietary laser scribing technology.
“From the beginning we were confident that there was overwhelming evidence to support the investigation. We’re pleased with the ITC’s decision to move forward,” said a spokesman for the law firm representing RevoLaze.
The denim jean companies named include ‘big name’ manufacturers in the US, Canada, Sweden, and Italy such as Levi Strauss & Co.; Abercrombie & Fitch; American Eagle Outfitters; H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB; Roberto Cavalli S.p.Ali.; Buffalo International; The Gap Inc.; Guess? Inc.; Fashion Box S.p.A.; and Eddie Bauer LLC.
The next step calls for the ITC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the agency’s administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will then make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337 with that initial determination subject to review by the Commission.
The ITC “will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation.”
Remedial orders in Section 337 cases “are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the US Trade Representative within that 60-day period,” the UITC said.