US to probe carmakers over alleged patent violations
TOKYO: The United States will begin an investigation into whether thermoplastic components used in some Japanese and German vehicle models sold in the country violate patent laws, said trade authorities late last week.
The US International Trade Commission (USITC) on Friday listed 25 firms in the probe, including BMW, Honda Motor Co Ltd, Toyota Motor Corp and Japanese parts suppliers Aisin Seiki Co Ltd and Denso Corp.
The probe was initiated by patent holding firm Intellectual Ventures II, which in March filed a complaint alleging that thermoplastic parts used in motors, water pumps, electronic power steering units and other powertrain parts made by or used in vehicles sold by the companies infringed on its patents.
The complaint affects vehicle models sold in the US, including the 2016 Toyota Camry, 2017 Honda Accord and the 2016 BMW 228i.
The USITC said it would complete investigation within 45 days of starting the probe. Reuters