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Import proceeding goes against FreedomLine transmission

Jan. 10, 2005
Judge says FreedomLine transmission infringes Eaton patent

Eaton Corp. has announced that a U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) judge issued a decision in Eaton’s favor in an unfair import proceeding brought by Eaton against ZF Friedrichshafen AG (ZF), ArvinMeritor and ZFMeritor LLC (ZFM).

According to Eaton, the judge has determined that the defendants’ FreedomLine automated truck transmissions infringe upon an Eaton transmission patent. The judge has recommended that ITC issue an order prohibiting future importation of ZF FreedomLine transmission systems and components into the United States as well as a cease-and-desist order that would halt the sale of these products in the U.S., Eaton said.

According to Eaton spokesman, Don Alles, it may take as long as five months before the decisions on the FreedomLine in the U.S. will be reached.

“Beyond the judge’s recommendation, the time frame is that ITC has 90 days to make both decisions,” Alles told Fleet Owner. “And then there is a 60-day executive review process in which the order is reviewed by the Office of the President.”

ArvinMeritor spokesman, Mike Pennington, said the company will refrain from detailing its response and action plan until a decision is reached by ITC.

“After ITC’s decision is complete we will review all of our options,” Pennington told Fleet Owner, noting he expects to see a decision by April. “Our passion to see this through hasn’t changed one bit.”

About the Author

Terrence Nguyen

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