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HQ 472418

May 15, 2002

ENF 4-02 RR:IT:IP 472418 PBP


James C. Tuttle, Esq.
Law Offices of James C. Tuttle
82 Wall Street
Suite 1105
New York, NY 10005

RE: Lens-Fitted Film Packages; ITC Investigation No. 337-TA-406

Dear Mr. Tuttle:

This is in reply to your letter dated August 13, 2001, on behalf of Vastfame Camera, Ltd., in which you requested a ruling as to whether a certain camera preloaded with 35-mm film is excluded from entry into the United States.


Pursuant to the above-referenced exclusion order, the ITC determined that there was a violation of 19 U.S.C. §1337 regarding certain lens-fitted film packages (LFFPs), also known as one-time use cameras, single use cameras, and disposable cameras, that infringed claims under one or more of fifteen patents owned by Fuji Photo Film Co., Inc. Certain Lens-Fitted Film Packages, Inv. No. 337-TA-406, General Exclusion Order at 1-2. With the exception of design patents DES. 345,750; DES. 356,101; and DES. 372,722 which claim ornamental designs of single use cameras and are represented by their application drawings, all of the claims of the patents at issue protect “a lens-fitted photographic film package” or “a lens-fitted photographic film unit.” In its Opinion, the ITC described an LFFP as follows:

The products at issue in this investigation are inexpensive, disposable, single use cameras, technically referred to as “lens-fitted film packages” or “LFFPs.” LFFPs are generally constructed of a shell made of a plastic material such as
polystyrene. They are equipped with a button-activated shutter, a lens, a viewfinder, a film advance mechanism, and optional flash units and buttons. An outer cardboard cover, containing printed information such as branding and instructions, encases the shell. LFFPs are preloaded with film and a film cartridge. When pictures are taken, the exposed film winds into the film cartridge. After taking pictures, a typical consumer brings the entire LFFP to a film processor to have the film developed and receives back only negatives and prints, not the LFFP shell and its contents.

Certain Lens-Fitted Film Packages, Inv. No. 337-TA-406 (June 2, 1999), Commission Opinion at 2. See also, Id., Final Initial and Recommended Determinations, Additional Findings, no. 1 at 214.

A sample camera identified as Model No. UW-20F, manufactured by Vastfame Camera Ltd., 22 C-D, MaxShare Centre, 367 King’s Road, North Point, Hong Kong, was submitted for our analysis. With the exception that Model #UW-20F is encased in a transparent waterproof container which allows operation of the flash mechanism, shutter, and film advance mechanisms from outside of the waterproof case, the camera is identical to the Model #N20FTcamera which was the subject of Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 471165, dated May 15, 2002. The sample camera is preloaded with unexposed film and consists of a light plastic body incorporating a flash unit. The camera has a body consisting of a front cover attached to a shell with screws and a rear cover fitted to the shell by hinges on one side and a slide-lock mechanism on the other. The rear cover may be opened by releasing the slide lock mechanism and pulling outward, away from the shell. In addition, the camera is equipped with a lens, a viewfinder, and a film advance mechanism. When a photograph is taken, the film winds from the unexposed film roll into the film cartridge (patrone). Photographs of the sample camera are displayed below.


The issue presented is whether the sample camera is a lens-fitted film package within the scope of the ITC’s general exclusion order issued pursuant to Inv. No. 337-TA-406, such that it is excluded from entry for consumption into the United States.


Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 471488, dated May 15, 2002, copy enclosed, addresses Customs position on whether the camera under consideration is excluded from entry for consumption into the United States pursuant to the ITC’s general exclusion order issued in Inv. No. 337-TA-406. In HQ 471488, we determined that the reusable camera product manufactured by Vastfame Camera Ltd., and identified as Model No. UW-20F may be entered for consumption into the United States. We therefore incorporate the LAW AND ANALYSIS section of that ruling in this decision, as it is dispositive of the issue you have raised.

Accordingly, the subject camera is not an LFFP of the type covered by the ITC’s exclusion order.


The sample camera identified as Model No. UW-20F is not covered by the scope of the ITC’s general exclusion order in Inv. No. 337-TA-406 and may be entered for consumption into the United States.


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