The U.S. International Trade Commission will probe patent violations over usage of thermoplastics by Japanese and German automakers

If it is of any indication, shares of companies against whom the complaint has been filed by Intellectual Ventures II, have largely remained unmoved.

Trade authorities in the United States have disclosed that they will soon begin an investigation into whether the usage of thermoplastic components used by German and Japanese carmakers and sold in the U.S. violate the country’s patent laws.

Last Friday, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) listed twenty five companies which it will probe, including Toyota Motor Corp, BMW, Honda Motor Co Ltd, and Japanese parts suppliers Denso Corp and Aisin Seiki Co Ltd.

The probe was initiated by Intellectual Ventures II, a patent holding firm. Earlier in March, the company had filed a complaint alleging that thermoplastic parts used in electronic power steering units, motors, water pumps and other powertrain parts manufactured or used in vehicles sold by these companies infringe on its patents.

Thermoplastics are durable and lightweight material that are typically used in parts which come in contact with high-temperature auto components. Thanks to their durability and lightweight, they help with efficiency and boost fuel economy.

The complaint was filed against a slew of selected models sold in the U.S., including the 2016 BMW 228i, the 2016 Toyota Camry and the 2017 Honda Accord.

The USITC has stated it will complete the investigation within 45 days of its starting the probe.

With the news hitting the market, shares of both Honda and Toyota were almost unfazed by it in the Tokyo stock exchange.

While Toyota’s spokeswoman declined to comment on the issue, officials from Japan for Aisin, BMW, Denso, and Honda were not immediately available for comment.


Categories: Creativity, Entrepreneurship, HR & Organization, Regulations & Legal, Strategy

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