Earlier this month, Illinois-based Fellowes Inc., a leading manufacturer and seller of home and office paper shredders in the U.S, filed a complaint under Section 337 requesting ITC to initiate investigation against a group of companies pursuant to the infringement of their intellectual property rights. The basic issues at hand include the development and testing processes and engineering know-how necessary to manufacture Fellowes shredders.
The complaint stated that a Fellowes affiliate, Fellowes Hong Kong Ltd., acquired a 50% ownership stake in an existing Chinese joint venture, Changzhou Jinsen Office Supplies Co. Ltd. (“Changzhou”). The other 50% was owned by Jiangsu Shinri Machinery Co. Ltd. (“Shinri”), a company independently owned by an Zhou Licheng. Thereafter, Changzhou also conducted businesses under the name Fellowes Manufacturing (Changzhou) Co. Ltd. (“Jinsen”). The purpose of Jinsen was to manufacture shredders exclusively for Fellowes. Fellowes provided Jinsen with its trade secrets, know-how, and all of the tooling, molds, and other processes needed to manufacture its shredders.
After three years, Jinsen demanded all the trade secrets from Fellowes and on refusal they started blocking all entrances and exits which eventually halted all production and shipment. The same has led to the release of Fellowes trade secrets to other companies and hence, all being included as the respondents to this suit.
Fellowes is now seeking a potential remedy which it hopes will come around if the Commission issues permanent limited exclusion, cease and desist orders. The company also requests the issuance of orders to immediately and verifiably destroy all paper shredders and components thereof and to immediately turn over all documents and products in possession, custody, or control of the Proposed Respondents that incorporate Fellowes’ misappropriated trade secrets.
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