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Looks Count, Garbage Disposal-Maker Says

(CN) - The maker of InSinkErator garbage disposals wants the U.S. International Trade Commission to ban importation of competing products it claims are made to look like the famous brand.

InSinkErator's owner Emerson Electric claims that Anaheim Manufacturing copied the look of InSinkErator's Evolution and Badger models to mislead customers.

Anaheim intentionally made its models compatible with Emerson sink mounts, which bear the InSinkErator trademark, diluting the value of the trademark, Emerson says.

The complaint shows several Anaheim models with identical mechanical parts but different shells, some of which look like Emerson's products. Emerson claims this proves that the similarity is not accidental.

More than 100 million garbage disposals have been sold bearing the InSinkErator trademark, including more than 45 million Badgers and 4 million Evolution disposals, according to Emerson.

The ITC usually decides within 30 days whether to investigate a patent or trademark infringement claim. Investigations are presided over by administrative law judges, who make an initial determination whether a violation has occurred; that ruling is then reviewed by the commission. The ITC says that most investigations are concluded in less than 15 months.

Emerson's complaint was filed by Tom Schaumberg with Adduci, Mastriani and Schaumberg, in Washington D.C.

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