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ITC Judge Finds Violations of P&S GFCI Patent Rights


Syracuse, NY, March 12, 2009 — Pass & Seymour/Legrand (P&S), a leading provider of electrical wiring devices and home systems, announced today that the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a final decision that a number of China-based manufacturers of ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) and their U.S. distributors have violated P&S’s patent rights.

In a final decision issued today, the ITC affirmed an earlier decision by the Administrative Law Judge Carl C. Charneski finding P&S’s patents valid and enforceable. The ITC also found that GFCIs manufactured by General Protecht Group, Shanghai ELE Manufacturing, Shanghai Meihao Electric and Wenzhou Trimone Science and Technology Electric infringed P&S’s patents.

In addition, the ITC issued exclusion orders precluding importation of infringing GFCIs made by General Protecht Group, Shanghai ELE Manufacturing, Shanghai Meihao Electric and Wenzhou Trimone Science and Technology Electric and cease and desist orders precluding U.S. distributors Cheetah USA Corp. of Sandy, Utah, Colacino Electric Supply, Inc., of Newark, New York, The Designer’s Edge, Inc., of Bellevue, Washington, Nicor Inc., of Albuquerque, New Mexico and Orbit Industries, Inc., of Los Angeles, California from selling infringing GFCIs in the United States.

“Today’s decision will enable P&S to fend off unfair competition, maintain market share, and preserve high-end R&D jobs and the innovation those workers create, in a product category the company created almost 40 years ago,” said Pat Davin, Vice President and General Manager of Pass & Seymour/Legrand. “These orders will ensure that our patents and quality products maintain their rightful presence in the marketplace.”

P&S intends to work with U.S. Customs to enforce the exclusion orders to preclude the importation of infringing GFCIs. P&S also intends to vigorously enforce the cease and desist orders against the distributors named in the investigation and contact other distributors to cease sales of infringing GFCIs.

The ITC’s final decision is available on the ITC website at www.usitc.gov.

P&S has a related suit pending in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, seeking damages.

Pass & Seymour/Legrand is a leading provider of electrical wiring devices, accessories, and home systems in North America. For more information, visit www.passandseymour.com.

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Legrand is a global specialist in products and systems for electrical installations and information networks. Its comprehensive offering of solutions for use in commercial, industrial and residential markets makes it a benchmark for suppliers worldwide. Innovation for a steady flow of new products with high added value is an important element of Legrand’s growth. Backed by sound business and financial structures, Legrand is actively expanding its presence in fast-growing geographical zones and market segments that include lighting controls, energy savings and home automation, organically, through business relationships, and through well-targeted, self-financed acquisitions. In 2007 Legrand employed 35,000 people around the globe and reported sales of €4.1billion, significant presence in emerging markets. The company is listed on the Eurolist market of Euronext Paris and is a component stock of indexes including the SBF120, FTSE4Good and MSCI World (ISIN code FR0010307819). For more about the North American operations of Legrand, visit www.legrandna.com.