WASHINGTON (June 16, 2016) — The International Trade Commission has instituted an investigation of imported passenger vehicle wheels and whether they infringe on design patents owned by Daimler AG of Stuttgart, Germany.
Daimler filed a complaint with the ITC on April 11 under Section 337 of the Trade Act, which addresses product imports that allegedly infringe on the patents of other companies.
According to Daimler, 11 different U.S. companies are importing and selling wheels bearing designs and/or trademarks that Daimler uses on wheels for Mercedes-Benz automobiles. The ITC voted June 13 to begin an investigation based on Daimler's petition.
Daimler seeks exclusion orders and cease-and-desist orders against the following companies:
- A-Z Wheels L.L.C., d/b/a UsaRim/UsaRim.com/Eurotech Wheels, San Diego, Calif.;
- Galaxy Wheels & Tires L.L.C., San Diego, Calif.;
- Infobahn International Inc., d/b/a Infobahn/Eurotech/Eurotech Luxury Wheels/Eurotech Wheels/UsaRim, San Diego, Calif.;
- Amazon.com Inc., Seattle, Wash.;
- A Spec Wheels & Tires L.L.C., d/b/a A SPEC Wheels & Tires, Hayward, Calif.;
- American Tires Distributors Holdings Inc., Huntersville, N.C.;
- American Tires Distributors Inc., Huntersville, N.C.;
- Onyx Enterprises Int'l. Corp., d/b/a CARiD.COM, Cranbury, N.J.;
- O.E. Wheel Distributors L.L.C., Sarasota, Fla.;
- Powerwheels Pro L.L.C., Waterford, Mich.; and
- Trade Union International Inc., d/b/a Topline, Montclair, Calif.
Institution of the investigation does not signify that the ITC has made any judgment on the merits of the case, the agency said in a June 13 press release.
The agency's next step will be to assign one of its administrative law judges to the case. In turn, the judge will set dates for evidentiary hearings. Neither step has yet been taken, according to the ITC website.