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ITC Judge Finds Violations of Pass & Seymour's Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter Patent Rights


Syracuse, NY, January 13, 2009 — Pass & Seymour/Legrand (P&S), a leading provider of electrical wiring devices and home systems, announced today that, on December 22, 2008, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) released a public version of the judge’s ruling that a number of Chinese manufacturers of ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) and their U.S. distributors have violated P&S’s patent rights. On December 22, the ITC also released a public version of the judge’s recommendations on remedies.

In September, ITC Administrative Law Judge Carl C. Charneski upheld the validity and enforceability and found infringement of all six of the patents asserted by P&S. The P&S patents at issue were U.S. Patent Nos. 5,594,398; 7,154,718; 7,164,564; 7,212,386; 7,256,973; and 7,283,340. Judge Charneski ruled that GFCIs made or sold by General Protecht Group, Shanghai ELE Manufacturing, Shanghai Meihao Electric and Wenzhou Trimone Science and Technology Electric infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 5,594,398; 7,212,386; and 7,283,340. Judge Charneski also ruled that GFCIs made or sold by Shanghai Meihao Electric infringe U.S. Patent No. 7,154,718 and that GFCIs made or sold by Shanghai ELE Manufacturing infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 7,164,564 and 7,256,973. Cheetah USA, Colacino Electric Supply, The Designer’s Edge, Nicor and Orbit Industries have distributed the various infringing GFCIs in the United States.

This past December, Judge Charneski issued his recommendations on remedies. In the recommendations, Judge Charneski found that P&S is entitled to a general exclusion order, which will prevent General Protecht Group, Shanghai ELE Manufacturing, Shanghai Meihao Electric, and Wenzhou Trimone Science and Technology Electric, their U.S. distributors and other manufacturers and distributors of GFCI from importing into the United States GFCIs that infringe P&S’s patents. The judge also recommended that cease and desist orders issue, which would prevent the U.S. distributors Cheetah USA Corp. of Sandy, Utah, Colacino Electric Supply, Inc., of Newark, N.Y., The Designer’s Edge, Inc., of Bellevue, Wash., Nicor Inc., of Albuquerque, NM. and Orbit Industries, Inc., of Los Angeles, Calif. from selling infringing GFCIs in the United States.

The public versions of Judge Charneski’s decisions are available on the ITC website at www.usitc.gov.

The next step in the ITC process is for the full International Trade Commission to review Judge Charneski’s ruling together with any appeals and make a final decision by March 6, 2009.

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.