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Hillenbrand Wins Ban of Knockoff Coffin Imports From Mexico

Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Hillenbrand Inc., the largest U.S. maker of coffins, won an order to ban imports of knockoff caskets from Mexico.

The U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington yesterday said Ataudes Aguilares will be barred from bringing in caskets with attached memorabilia compartments and mechanisms for letting funeral-home directors swap out ornamental corner pieces. The Guadalajara, Mexico-based company failed to respond to patent-infringement claims from Hillenbrand’s Batesville unit, the ITC said in a notice on its website.

Batesville filed the complaint in June, seeking to protect sales of its coffins with memorabilia compartments that it expected to exceed $130 million this year. The company said it builds the caskets at four plants in Panola, Mississippi; Manchester, Tennessee; Vicksburg, Mississippi; and its hometown of Batesville, Indiana.

The case is In the Matter of Certain Caskets, 337-725, U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Susan Decker in Washington at sdecker1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Allan Holmes at aholmes25@bloomberg.net.

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