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US International Trade Commission votes to investigate alledged hybrid patent infringement by VW Group

The US International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute a formal investigation of Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche based on Paice’s earlier complaint of infringement of its hybrid vehicle patents. (Earlier post.) An official evidentiary hearing will be held before an ITC Administrative Law Judge at a date to be determined.

The complaint, as amended, alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the US and sale of certain hybrid electric vehicles and components by reason of infringement of patents asserted by Paice. Paice has requested that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

The exclusion order would prohibit Volkswagen Group companies from importing infringing hybrid vehicles, including the VW Jetta Hybrid, Audi A3 e-tron Hybrid, Audi Q5 Hybrid, Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, and Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-998), the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The USITC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC’s administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.

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