International Trade Commission requests investigation of dimmable CFL imports

A news release from the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) followed on a Federal Register notice that alleged patent violations. The USITC reported that it had instituted “an investigation of certain dimmable compact fluorescent lamps and products containing same. The products at issue in this investigation are dimmable compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which are light bulbs that function as direct replacements for dimmable incandescent light bulbs.”

The USITC listed the following respondents in the investigation:

  • SK America, Inc., d/b/a Maxlite, of New Jersey;
  • U Lighting America Inc. of California;
  • Golden U Lighting Manufacturing  (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. of China;
  • Feit Electric Company, Inc., of California; 
  • General Electric Company of Connecticut;
  • Xiamen Topstar Lighting Co. Ltd. of  China;
  • Technical Consumer Products, Inc., of Ohio;
  • TCP China of China;
  • TCP  (Shanghai) Tiancanbao Lighting Electrical Appliance Co., Ltd., of China;
  • Shanghai Jensing Electron  Electrical Equipment Co., Ltd. of China;
  • Shanghai Qiangling Electronics  Co. Ltd. of China; and
  • Zhejiang Qiang Ling Electronic Co. Ltd. of  China.”

Neptun Light, Inc. and Andrzej Bobel of Lake Forrest, Ill. filed the original complaint on Jan. 23 and an amended complaint on Feb. 8.

An analysis of the complaint on said, “According to the complaint, the ‘480 patent is directed to ‘circuitry for electronic ballasts that power dimmable CFLs with the ballasts providing a high power factor and low harmonic distortion” which allows for improved dimmable CFL performance.  The ‘318 patent is directed to “an electronic ballast for enabling a full range of dimming of a CFL.’  Both patents address deficiencies in ballast circuitry that cause visible flicker during the dimming operation in dimmable CFLs.”

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