Pocket lighter maker BIC Corporation filed a Section 337 infringement complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) seeking to stop the importation of infringing pocket lighters. BIC also filed a complaint in the Eastern District of New York with similar claims against the same collection of defendants.
The Section 337 complaint lists four respondents: Chinese companies Benxi Fenghe Lighter and Zhuoye Lighter Manufacturing; Wellpine Company of Hong Kong; and MK Lighter of California. The New York complaint also mentions MK Lighter as a defendant, along with Milan Import Export Company of California, Excel Wholesale Distributors of New York and a collection of individual and company defendants.
Both the filings note BIC’s lighter design is a well-known design for over 30 years and was even featured at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art since 2005 as part of an exhibition. The protected designs include aspects of BIC’s trade dress, including an oblong body, a fork in cross-section and a metal hood.
BIC is seeking to prevent the importation of infringing articles and receive monetary damages.