Market Overview

Valbruna Applauds U.S. Appeals Court Decision Affirming The Exclusion of Viraj Stainless Steel Products from the U.S. Market


The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed
the orders issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission ("ITC")
against India's Viraj Profiles in a Section 337 case.

The ITC's orders have been in effect since July 2016 and require Viraj
to stop importing, marketing and selling its stainless steel products in
the United States for a period of 16.7 years. Viraj had asked the
Federal Circuit to reverse the ITC, arguing that the ITC's orders were
not supported by the evidence. In a one-line decision issued by a
three-judge panel just days after the hearing, the court rejected
Viraj's arguments and upheld in full the ITC's decisions.

The case stems from allegations made by Valbruna Stainless of Fort
Wayne, Indiana, that Viraj bribed an ex-employee to steal Valbruna's
manufacturing trade secrets and customer lists from its Vicenza, Italy,
location. On May 25, 2016, after a forensic inspection of Viraj's
computers, the ITC found Viraj in default as a sanction for abusive
litigation conduct, including destroying evidence and providing false
testimony under oath. Based in part on evidence showing Valbruna spent
an average of 16.7 years developing the hundreds of stolen manufacturing
trade secrets, the ITC issued an order to exclude all stainless steel
products manufactured by Viraj from the U.S. for 16.7 years.

"We are pleased that the court has approved the ITC's orders and agreed
that the US Government was right to punish Viraj for its misconduct and
unfair business practices. Valbruna will continue to focus on the
vigorous enforcing of the exclusion order so that Valbruna can compete
in the US market on a level playing field," said Massimo Amenduni
Gresele, Valbruna's managing director. "We will remain on alert to any
efforts to circumvent the ITC's exclusion order."

Valbruna Stainless employs more than 220 people throughout the United
States in manufacturing and selling stainless steel long products. Its
subsidiary, Valbruna Slater Stainless, has recently completed a $30
million expansion of its Fort Wayne manufacturing facility.

The ITC's orders currently prohibit the importation into the U.S. of all
Viraj-made stainless steel products, including semi-finished steel, wire
rod, bars, angles, wire, flanges and fasteners. The orders also apply to
Viraj-made stainless steel sold by other parties.

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