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Court of Appeals Finds Violations of Legrand/Pass & Seymour's GFCI Patent Rights


 

SYRACUSE, NY, September 1, 2010 — Legrand/Pass & Seymour (P&S), a leading provider of electrical wiring devices and home systems, announced today that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued decisions in appeals from the previously reported decision of the United States International Trade Commission (ITC).

Last year, the ITC ruled that a number of China-based manufacturers of ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) and their U.S. distributors violated P&S's patents relating to GFCI technology.  The Court of Appeals largely affirmed the ITC findings on Monday.

The Court of Appeals found all of P&S's asserted patents valid and enforceable, and held that the vast majority, seven of nine manufacturers and their U.S. distributors, infringed P&S's patents. The ITC's previously issued exclusion orders precluding importation of those infringing GFCIs and cease and desist orders precluding the U.S. distributors from selling those infringing GFCIs will remain in force.

The Court of Appeals also ruled that two manufacturers' GFCIs did not infringe P&S’s patents. However, P&S firmly believes that aspect of the decision is erroneous and intends to request a rehearing by the Court of Appeals.

“Monday’s decision clearly upholds our ability to fend off unfair competition, maintain market share, and retain ownership of our product innovations in a category P&S created almost 40 years ago,” said Pat Davin, Vice President and General Manager of Legrand/Pass  & Seymour.  “P&S has one of the largest portfolios of U.S. patents relating to GFCIs and other electrical protection devices, and we will continue pursuing claims against companies that infringe our intellectual property.”

P&S intends to work with U.S. Customs to enforce the exclusion orders precluding the importation of infringing GFCIs.  P&S also plans 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 Court of Appeals decisions are available on its website at www.cafc.uscourts.gov .


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

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About Legrand
Legrand is the global specialist in products and systems for electrical installations and information networks where people live and work. Its comprehensive offering of solutions for use in commercial, industrial and residential markets makes it a benchmark for suppliers worldwide. Legrand has a strong presence in the North American market, with a portfolio of products that includes Cablofil, On-Q, Ortronics, Pass & Seymour, Vantage, Watt Stopper and Wiremold. The company is actively expanding its market divisions that include Electrical Wiring Systems, Home Systems, Lighting Controls and Commercial Datacom.  Innovation for a steady flow of new products with high added value is a prime vector for growth. Legrand reported sales of $5.0 billion in 2009. The company is listed on Euronext and is a component stock of indexes including the SBF120. FTSE4Good, MSCI World and ASPI (ISIN code FR0010307819).
www.legrand.us