20 November 2017Trademarks

USITC launches Alibaba investigation

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has confirmed it will institute an investigation into Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba regarding the importing of containers for cooling beverages.

In a release on Friday, November 17, the ITC said the investigation is based on a complaint filed by Yeti Coolers, an Austin-based manufacturer of outdoor lifestyle products.

“The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the US and sale of certain insulated beverage containers, components, labels, and packaging materials.”

Yeti Coolers sells a range of cooler items, as well as duffels, accessories and clothing.

The company owns a range of IP rights including US trademark registration numbers 5,233,441 and 4,883,074 covering the ‘Yeti Coolers’ name, and design patent numbers D752,397 and  D780,533 for cool boxes.

All four were said to be infringed by Alibaba.

The ITC identified 13 respondents, many of which were linked to Alibaba, including Singapore E-Commerce, Alibaba (China) Technology and Hangzhou Alibaba Advertising.

“By instituting this investigation, USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case,” the release stated.

“The USITC’s chief administrative law judge will assign the case to one of the USITC’s administrative law judges, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing.”

The ITC will then set a target date for completing the investigation within 45 days.

Did you enjoy reading this story?  Sign up to our free daily newsletters and get stories like this sent straight to your inbox.

Today’s top stories:

Four senior cases from last week and why they matter

Marques concerned over lack of Brexit IP negotiations

Intangible capital generated $5.9tn to manufactured products, says WIPO

Ivanka Trump trade dress suit dropped

USTR reveals IP objectives in NAFTA renegotiations

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Adrian Tapping at

More on this story

25 July 2017   Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba has succeeded in its dispute with a Taobao merchant selling counterfeit cat food.
24 April 2017   A tip-off by e-commerce company Alibaba led Chinese authorities to seize RMB 20 million ($2.9 million) worth of counterfeit cosmetics in the country.
3 April 2018   Chinese e-commerce platform Alibaba has accused a Dubai-based cryptocurrency company of operating an “unlawful scheme to misappropriate” Alibaba’s renowned brand name.