Wisconsin elected officials seek investigation into Man Wah’s business practices

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three Congressional representatives have sent letters to federal agencies requesting an investigation into the business practices of motion furniture manufacturer Man Wah.

The officials, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and Representatives Glenn Grothman (R, Wisc. 6th District) and Scott Fitzgerald (R-Wisc. 5th District), have written to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. International Trade Commission.

The letters follow a jury award of more than $100 million to Raffel Systems after the jury found Man Wah stole its intellectual property relating to Raffel’s functional cupholders used in motion upholstery.

The Congressional representatives are seeking an investigation to prevent this from happening in the future.

“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,” they added in their letters.

This development occurs about a month after Raffel sent letters of its own asking each of the same federal agencies to investigate. The company said it was pleased that the elected officials have gotten involved to help in the process.  

“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.”

Man Wah declined to comment on this latest development.

The text of each of the letter to the CPSC can be found here.

The text of the letter to the FTC can be found here.

The text of the letter to the ITC can be found here.

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at tom@homenewsnow.com and at 336-508-4616.

View all posts by Thomas Russell →

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