Eaton accuses firms of patent infringement

Jan. 1, 2004
Eaton Corp has filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) in Washington DC, requesting that the ITC initiate an investigation

Eaton Corp has filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) in Washington DC, requesting that the ITC initiate an investigation of ZF Meritor LLC, ArvinMeritor, and ZF Friedrichshafen AG. Eaton is charging the companies with violating the Tariff Act of 1930 by importing ZF Meritor's FreedomLine transmission system and components that infringe various Eaton patents.

The ITC was asked by Eaton to issue an exclusion order prohibiting importation into the United States of the FreedomLine transmission system and components, as well as a cease-and-desist order halting sale in the United States of these imported products.

Eaton also filed a lawsuit in the US District Court in Detroit MI based on infringement of patents. The company has asked the Federal District Court in Detroit to enter a permanent injunction prohibiting the sale of FreedomLine transmissions in the United States, whether or not imported, and also for an award of damages based on ZF Meritor's infringement of Eaton's patents.

In its filings, Eaton said it believes the FreedomLine transmission system infringes its patent rights and that it has filed these actions to protect Eaton's patented technology. The firm said it has invested considerable time and money developing its technology and intends to defend these patents vigorously against infringement by others.

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