US Companies Filed a 337 Investigation Application for Chinese Vapes

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US Companies Filed a 337 Investigation Application for Chinese Vapes

US companies filed a 337 investigation application for Chinese e-cigarette products

According to the news released by the Ministry of Commerce, Uul Labs, an American company, filed an application with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) under Section 337 of the US Tariff Act of 1930, accusing the United States of exporting, importing in the United States, or E-cigarette products and their components sold in the United States infringe on their patent rights, requesting ITC to initiate 337 investigations and issue limited exclusion orders and prohibitions.

Speaking of the 337 investigation, it can be described as “famous”. It is still very strange to e-cigarette practitioners. However, in other industries, many people are no strangers. A large number of well-known domestic enterprises have been investigated by 337, such as Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo, Dajiang, Sany Heavy Industry, Baosteel, Shougang and so on.

What exactly is the “337 investigation”? It is understood that the US “337 investigation” was first named under Section 337 of the US Tariff Act of 1930, then it has undergone several major revisions.

Under the terms, the US International Trade Commission has the power to investigate complaints about patent and registered trademark infringement, as well as investigations involving the misappropriation of trade secrets, commodity packaging infringement, imitations, and false advertising.

A previous investigation of 337 steel companies

According to the relevant procedures, the US International Trade Commission must determine the target time for the final ruling within 45 days after launching the “337 Investigation” and complete the investigation as soon as possible. Usually, the case needs to be decided within one year. If the company involved is found guilty of a violation of Section 337, the US International Trade Commission will issue an exclusion order and a prohibition order for the relevant product. This means that the products involved will completely lose the qualification to sell in the US market.

According to the report, six e-cigarette companies including Shenzhen Yubai Technology Co., Ltd. and Shenzhen Yibo Electronics Co., Ltd. were involved in the case.

However, at the “Sino-US Intellectual Property Protection and Anti-dumping Legal Practice Summit Forum” held in November 2012, there was a speech that China has become the biggest victim of the US “337 investigation“. Among the relevant cases, the rate of court failure of Chinese companies is as high as 60%, far higher than the world average of 26%.

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