The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation on imports of certain women’s dresses, jumpsuits, maxi skirts and accessories for false claims. And it’s pointing a finger at Amazon.
The USITC said in its order that it will investigate Amazon.com Inc. of Seattle, Xunyun, Jiaxing Xunyung Imp & Exp Co. Ltd. of Zhejiang, China, and Jianzhang Liao, Pinkqueen Apparel Inc. of Xiaman, China, for the claims.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Style Pantry LLC of Beverly Hills, Calif., on April 24. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, for reasons tied to false country of origin designations and false advertising or descriptions, the threat or effect of which could destroy or injure U.S. industry.
Style Pantry wants the USITC to issue a general exclusion order, as well as cease and desist orders for the goods in question.
By instituting this investigation, the USITC noted that it has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The USITC’s chief administrative law judge will now assign the case to one of the agency’s law judges who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The judge will then make an initial determination as to whether laws have been violated, and that initial determination is subject to review by the commission.
Amazon did not return a request for comment. The others companies could not be reached for comment either.
According to the ITC Trial Lawyers Association, unfair acts recognized under the law include patent, trademark and copyright infringement, as well as other types of unfair competition, such as antitrust violations and trade secret misappropriation. However, the association said the vast majority of 337 investigations are based on allegations of patent infringement.
The USITC will ultimately make a final determination in the investigation. Within 45 days after that, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation.