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Federal Agency to Investigate Patent-Infringement Case Filed by Batesville

Casket company claims Mexican firm copied its patents.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) announced July 2 it will investigate a complaint filed by Batesville Services alleging certain caskets imported into the United States infringe on its patents.

Batesville Services, Batesville, Ind., filed the complaint June 8, identifying Ataudes Aguilares, S. de R.L. de C.V. as the infringing party and alleging violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930. At issue are caskets with compartments for containing memorabilia.

In its complaint, Batesville says the Mexican company has manufactured and sold to U.S. customers caskets that contain memorabilia compartment technology that is patented by Batesville. The company is not licensed to make, use, sell or import any apparatus covered by Batesvilles patents, the document says.

Batesville has requested the ITC to issue a permanent exclusion order forbidding the entry into the United States of caskets that infringe on its patents as well as cease-and-desist orders prohibiting Ataudes Aguilares from importing or selling in the United States any caskets that infringe on Batesvilles patents.

Now that an investigation has been instituted, the ITC will assign the case to one of its six administrative law judges, who will hold an evidentiary hearing and make a determination whether section 337 has been violated. That decision is subject to review by the entire commission.

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