WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Representatives Glenn Grothman (R-WI-06) and Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI-05) sent a series of letters to federal agencies calling for an investigation into the harmful trade practices of a Chinese multinational company that stole intellectual property from the Wisconsin-based company Raffel Systems. The letters, sent to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), come after the Wisconsin manufacturer, Raffel Systems, had their intellectual property stolen by a former customer, the Chinese furniture manufacturer Man Wah, who manufactured faulty knockoff products based on the Raffel model. The knockoff products’ failures caused reputational damage to Raffel and subsequently, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin awarded the company $100 million in damages. Now, the Congressional members are calling for a series of investigations to help prevent the type of theft from happening again.
“This example of a multinational corporation deploying a calculated and duplicitous assault against a Wisconsin small business highlights the significant challenges that American businesses face from intellectual property theft by bad-faith actors, specifically from China,” the members of Congress wrote in one of the letters.
“No American worker should ever have their hard-earned paychecks jeopardized by these kinds of abusive trade practices, and your agency initiating an investigation could prevent Man Wah from continuing its practice of stealing intellectual property from other small businesses across Wisconsin and the country,” the Wisconsin members continued.
“We are grateful that Senator Baldwin, Representative Fitzgerald and Representative Grothman recognize the importance of protecting intellectual property and for working to hold Man Wah accountable for its unfair, anti-competitive behavior,” said Raffel Systems Executive Chairman Paul Stangl. “We hope the federal agencies will investigate this matter and put a stop to Man Wah’s disregard for proprietary technology.”
Text of the letter to the CPSC is available here.
Text of the letter to the ITC is available here.
Text of the letter to the FTC is available here.
An online version of this release is available here.