• Batesville Files New 337 Complaint Regarding Certain Caskets
  • June 21, 2010 | Author: Eric W. Schweibenz
  • Law Firm: Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, L.L.P. - Alexandria Office
  • On June 8, 2010, Batesville Services, Inc. of Batesville, Indiana (“Batesville”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

    The Complaint alleges that Ataudes Aguilares, S. de R.L. de C.V. of Mexico (“Ataudes Aguilares”) unlawfully imports, sells for importation, and/or sells within the U.S. after importation certain caskets that infringe Batesville’s U.S. Patent Nos. 5,611,124 (the ‘124 patent), 5,727,291 (the ‘291 patent), 6,836,936 (the ‘936 patent), 6,976,294 (the ‘294 patent), and 7,340,810 (the ‘810 patent) (collectively, the “patents-in-suit”).

    According to the Complaint, the ‘124, ‘291, ‘936, and ‘294 patents relate to caskets having a memorabilia compartment, which is a designated compartment or receptacle specifically for mementos, as an integral part of the casket.  The ’810 patent relates to an attachment mechanism permitting the quick and efficient installation and removal of ornamental corner pieces.

    In the Complaint, Batesville alleges that Ataudes Aguilares imports into the U.S., sells for importation into the U.S., and/or sells within the U.S. after importation caskets with a memorabilia compartment and innovative attachment mechanism that infringe certain claims of the patents-in-suit.

    Regarding domestic industry, Batesville alleges that it has significant investment in manufacturing plants and equipment and significant employment of labor and capital.  Namely, Batesville asserts that it currently employs approximately 3,300 employees in the U.S. and manufactures and assembles its patented caskets in its production facilities in Indiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

    As to related litigation, Batesville asserts that in November 2009, Batesville filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico naming Luquillo Funeral Home and Mr. Alejandro Sanchez, J.G. Perez Memorial and Mr. Johnny Galiano, and Naranjito Memorial and Messrs. Luis Matos and Glen Matos as defendants.  Batesville asserts that several of these defendants have admitted to infringement of the patents-in-suit and have admitted under oath that Ataudes Aguilares is the supplier of the infringing caskets.  According to the Complaint, all defendants in this related litigation have executed a Consent Judgment in Batesville’s favor.

    With respect to potential remedy, Batesville requests that the Commission issue a permanent exclusion order and a permanent cease-and-desist order directed to Ataudes Aguilares.