The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has launched an investigation into a patent infringement allegation against Taiwan-based industrial computer maker Advantech Co. (??) and two other companies, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Tuesday.
The probe has been instituted by the USITC on a request by Wisconsin-headquartered Rockwell Automation Inc., which has accused the three companies of infringing upon its patents involving industrial control system software, the MOEA said.
The two other companies accused by the U.S. complainant are 3S-Smart Software Solutions of Germany and Advantech Corp. of Milpitas, which is Advantech's subsidiary in California.
In a statement posted on its website Sept. 14, the USITC said that the commission has voted to instigate a probe into the three companies after Rockwell alleged that the three have violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930.
According to the complaint filed by Rockwell in August, the three accused firms violated the U.S. law by importing into the U.S. market and selling industrial control system software, systems using the same, and components that infringe upon patents asserted by the complainant.
According to the USITC, the products at issue in the investigation are programmable industrial controllers and associated software used for the automation of industrial processes in facilities such as factories, warehouses and utilities.
Rockwell has requested that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order to bar the three from importing and selling the products in question in the U.S. market.
The MOEA said that the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation in 45 days after the launch of the investigation. The ministry reminded Advantech to make a prompt written response to the USITC's probe to defend itself within 20 days of receiving a legal document on the probe from the commission.
The MOEA said that if Advantech fails to make a prompt response, the USITC will assume that the company has given up its right to stand trial and defend itself, and could face consequences.
In its statement, the USITC stressed that while the commission has instituted the investigation, it has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel