Some weeks ago, we wrote about Batesville Services, Inc. (see Protecting Domestic Industry), the high-tech casket company locked in a dispute with Ataudes Aguilares SRL, a Mexican casket company which had imported 14 (yes, 14) caskets into Puerto Rico.
The said caskets allegedly infringe four patents directed to a “memorabilia compartment” (read “a drawer”) in the caskets and a fifth patent directed to a quick release mechanism for attaching ornamental corner pieces to the casket so that they may be “quickly and efficiently” removed (we are not kidding). When last we wrote, Batesville was seeking to have the International Trade Commission (ITC) bar further importation of these caskets.
Well, the ITC has done its bit to protect American industry! After Ataudes Aguilares failed to respond to the Batesville complaint, the ITC issued a “limited exclusion order against infringing products.” So, unless the Obama administration, which has 60 days in which to do so, rejects this decision, the good people of Puerto Rico – and the rest of the country as well – will be compelled to buy American if they want drawers in their caskets.
Like you, I am struck by the "quickly and efficiently" language. What exactly is the point of that? Regardless of one's religious belief, I think we can all more or less agree that the deceased is not exactly on a timetable.