20 November 2017
Washington DC
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Alibaba in ITC spotlight

Alibaba will be investigated by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) over the importation and sale of insulated beverage containers, their labels, and packaging materials.

The ITC voted to institute the investigation following a complaint from Yeti Coolers, which claimed Alibaba had infringed its trademarks, copyrights and patents with the containers.

Yeti Coolers also claimed that the importation of these containers violated section 337 by way of false advertising, “the threat or effect of which is to destroy or substantially injure an industry in the US”.

It requested that the ITC issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

An Alibaba spokesperson said that the action had "no merit".

The spokesperson explained: "The ITC previously found that jurisdiction exists over those actually selling or importing products, but not Alibaba. We will defend ourselves vigorously as we have in prior investigations and are confident that the ITC will again conclude that Alibaba has not violated Section 337.”

The complaint also named several other alleged infringers, including Bonanza.com, ContextLogic and Shenzhen Great Electronic Technology.

The ITC will set a deadline for a final determination in the investigation within 45 days of its institution.

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