DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Twin-Star Intl. announced the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has issued a limited exclusion order barring the importation of all infringing products of Shenzhen Reliap Industrial Co. and Yue Qiu Sheng, both of Shenzhen, China, after an investigation of copyright infringement.

The ITC’s initial investigation began Jan. 19, 2012, based on a complaint filed by Twin-Star against California-based Whalen Furniture Mfg. Inc., which was then consolidated with a prior ITC investigation based on an earlier complaint filed by Twin-Star against Reliap and Yue. The complaints charge a violation of the Tariff Act of 1930 regarding the importation and sale in the U.S. of certain electric fireplaces and their components as well as processes of manufacturing by reason of infringement of U.S. copyrights and misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, and tortuous interference with contract. These copyrights cover the unique designs of Twin-Star’s electric fireplace inserts as well as content contained within their user manuals.

Earlier this year, the commission issued a limited exclusion order prohibiting the importation of electric fireplaces and all related components, manuals, and products manufactured abroad and/or imported by or for Yue or Reliap, or any of their affiliates that use Twin-Star’s misappropriated trade secrets that infringe upon one or more of Twin-Star’s asserted copyrights relating to the designs of their fireplaces and contents of their manuals.

“We are very happy with the commission’s exclusion order, which underscores the value of our company’s innovative products and the work we have put into developing them,” said Robert Cohen, president and CEO of Twin-Star. “We reaffirm our commitment to using the avenues available through the ITC and the courts to enforce Twin-Star’s intellectual property and prevent the sale, importation, or marketing of knockoffs.

“We will continue to protect our business and more importantly our customers’ businesses from having to compete against lower-end imitations of our product and the companies that illegally produce or sell them.”

Publication date: 6/17/2013

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