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U.S. launches two probes into imports for alledged patent infringement

(Xinhua)

10:31, February 23, 2012

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) on Wednesday launched two probes into products from various regions including China after the patent owners claimed their rights were infringed.

The products at issue include replaceable toner cartridges for use in laser beam printers and other laser printing machines, and photosensitive drums contained in such cartridges.

Canon' s Japanese and U.S. entities filed a complaint with USITC last month, saying the importation of those products violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930. Meanwhile, they requested the USITC to issue an exclusion order and to desist orders against those products.

The USITC said it had identified 34 respondents, including four from China's mainland and one from Hong Kong.

The trade panel is scheduled to set a target date for completing the investigation within 45 days after institution of the probe. If the complaint is approved, the agency will ban importation of those products.

The USITC instituted on the same day a separate probe with similar terms on dimmable compact fluorescent lamps imported from 12 companies including seven in China.

Section 337 investigations focus on allegations of patent or registered trademark infringement, and also involve misappropriation of trade secrets, trade dress infringement, passing off, false advertising, and violation of the antitrust laws.

The number of new Section 337 investigations started in fiscal year 2011, which ended on Sept. 30, 2011, is 70, a record high, an increase of 37 percent over the previous year.

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