Pass & Seymour/Legrand (P&S) filed a complaint on Aug. 16, 2007, with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) concerning ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). The complaint alleges infringement of six U.S. patents by Chinese companies that manufacture GFCIs and their brand resellers and distributors in the United States. The patents relate to various proprietary safety features invented by P&S and incorporated into GFCIs manufactured and sold by P&S.

In the complaint, P&S alleges the unlawful importation into the United States, sale for importation and/or sale within the United States after importation of GFCIs that infringe the patents. The following Chinese manufacturing companies are named as respondents in the complaint: General Protecht Group Inc. (and its subsidiary General Protecht Group U.S. Inc.), Shanghai ELE Manufacturing Corp., Shanghai Meihao Electric Inc., Wenzhou Trimone Co. and Zhejiang Dongzheng Electrical Co. The brand resellers named in the complaint are Cheetah USA Corp., GX Electric, Nicor Inc., Orbit Industries Inc., The Designer’s Edge and Universal Security Instruments Inc. The distributors named as respondents in the complaint include Colacino Electric Supply Inc., Ingram Products Inc., Lunar Industrial & Electrical Inc. and Quality Distributing LLC.

P&S seeks an order precluding the importation of the allegedly infringing GFCIs and their sale within the United States after importation. The order requested would be effective against the manufacturers as well as brand resellers and distributors of the alleged infringing GFCIs.

P&S also filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York. In this complaint, P&S alleges infringement of nine patents, including the six patents that are the subject of the ITC complaint. Defendants in the district court include the Chinese manufacturing companies mentioned above and some of the brand resellers and distributors. P&S is requesting an injunction against further infringement of the patents and unspecified damages.

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