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US launches patent probe into 4 companies

Updated: 2014-01-10 13:53
( Xinhua)

WASHINGTON - The US International Trade Commission (USITC) launched on Thursday a Section 337 probe into four companies based in China, Belgium and the United States for patent infringement.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Tyco Fire & Security GmbH of Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Switzerland and its two American subsidiaries in Florida on December 11, 2013, the USITC said in a statement.

China's Ningbo Signatronic Technologies, Belgium's All-Tag and another two US firms are involved in the probe.

The complainant accused these companies of infringing its patents related to acousto-magnetic electronic article surveillance systems, which are used in retail stores to deter the theft of merchandise, said the federal bipartisan panel.

Within 45 days the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. Should the complaint be approved, the panel will issue remedial orders, such as a ban on importation of accused products.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has repeatedly urged Washington to abide by its commitment against trade protectionism and help maintain a free, open and just international trade environment.

Section 337 investigations conducted by the USITC usually involve claims concerning intellectual property rights, including patent and trademark infringement allegations on imported goods.

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