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ITC orders seizure of laminate flooring that infringes on Unilin patents

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 12.07.36 PMDallas — Seizure and Forfeiture Orders were issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) against multiple companies attempting to import containers of laminate flooring that infringe upon Unilin’s glueless locking patents. The offending companies were first warned of Unilin’s General Exclusion Order prohibiting the import of infringing laminate flooring.  Nevertheless, because they chose to ignore those warnings, the ITC issued Seizure and Forfeiture Orders empowering the US Customs Office to seize all infringing products imported into the United States.

In March 2014, Unilin filed several patent infringement suits in federal district court in California against multiple companies and individuals that are active in the importation and distribution of unlicensed glueless laminate plank flooring. The suits were filed to collect money owed to Unilin for past infringement.

Some years ago, Unilin also put in place its “L2C” holographic label program to support its licensees. The L2C program requires Chinese licensees of Unilin and Välinge to attach a unique holographic label to each box of licensed product. The L2C label allows Unilin and Customs to easily identify unlicensed products from those licensed for importation. Unilin said the program would be extended to additional countries shortly as more licensees and buyers value the L2C labels.

Companies have tried to avoid the ITC General Exclusion Order by using counterfeit labels, according to Unilin. Products using counterfeit L2C labels, however, will also be seized and destroyed by Customs.

Christine Walmsley-Scott, legal counsel of Unilin’s IP division, said: “Products with counterfeit labels not only infringe on Unilin’s glueless locking patents, but also infringe on Unilin’s trademarks and copyrights. We are closely working with U.S. Customs Officials and with our attorneys to have such counterfeit products seized. We are therefore advising all buyers and retailers of Chinese glueless locking flooring products to get guarantees from their suppliers that the holographic L2C labels applied to their products are genuine as provided to them by Unilin representatives.”

The companies caught attempting to import patent infringing products, and against whom Seizure and Forfeiture Orders have been issued, include the following:

  • All American Hardwood Inc, Ontario, Calif.
  • Hawk Wood Flooring Inc., Walnut, Calif.
  • S&S Hardwood Floor Supply, Los Angeles
  • Woody & Lamy Floor Inc., Santa Fe Springs, Calif.
  • Home Floor Inc., Temple City, Calif.
  • Harmanto DBA Maximus Flooring, San Marino, Calif.
  • Lucky Step Inc, City of Industry, Calif.
  • Linco Enterprises Inc., Ontario, Calif.
  • Overseas Chinese Cultural Association, Temple City, Calif.
  • Topstar Flooring LLC, Rosemead, Calif.
  • Smartwood Flooring Inc., City of Industry, Calif.
  • Christina & Son Inc. DBA KC Industries Co, San Marino, Calif.

 

 

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Antidumping and countervailing duty orders: Frequently Asked Questions

The following was sent in a release on behalf  of the Coalition for American Hardwood Parity.

On Nov. 9, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a final affirmative determination in the antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of Multilayered Wood Flooring (MLWF) from China. This determination confirmed that imports of engineered wood flooring from China are being illegally dumped into the U.S. and are causing harm to the domestic industry. To assist the marketplace in understanding what this may mean, below are some frequently asked questions and answers. Continue reading Antidumping and countervailing duty orders: Frequently Asked Questions

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ITC votes in favor of U.S. petitioners

HICKSVILLE, N.Y.—One year after a group of U.S. engineered wood flooring manufacturers filed a federal unfair trade petition against Chinese imports, the International Trade Commission (ITC) voted to uphold the antidumping and countervailing duties set by the Department of Commerce (DOC) last month.

The result of this action means imports from all but one Chinese manufacturer—Zhejiang Yuhua Timber Co.—are not only subject to the DOC rates, they may have to pay additional fees a year or more later as the duties can be retroactively adjusted for as long as the government feels harm is being done to U.S. manufacturers. Continue reading ITC votes in favor of U.S. petitioners

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CAHP comments on ITC ruling

WASHINGTON—The U.S. International Trade Commission  (ITC) this morning issued a final affirmative determination in the unfair trade investigations of multilayered (engineered) wood flooring from China. Continue reading CAHP comments on ITC ruling

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AFCJF disappointed by ITC’s affirmation of petition

WASHINGTON—In a statement released by the Alliance for  Free Choice and Jobs in Flooring (AFCJF), the group announced the International Trade Commission (ITC) voted today to affirm the petition on punitive anti-dumping duties on engineered flooring from China. Continue reading AFCJF disappointed by ITC’s affirmation of petition

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Industry awaits ITC’s vote in antidumping case

HICKSVILLE, N.Y.—No matter which side of the fence you sit on, two dates this year will be looked upon as part of one historic event for the industry, specifically those dealing with engineered wood.

The first of those was Oct. 12. That was when the Department of Commerce (DOC) announced its final rates with regard to its investigation in the Chinese antidumping wood case, as well as when the International Trade Commission (ITC) was holding its final public hearing on the matter (FCNews, Oct. 10/17). Continue reading Industry awaits ITC’s vote in antidumping case