The investigation into German firm 3S-Smart Software Solutions and Taiwan-based Advantech Co., Ltd., along with its California subsidiary, was prompted by a complaint filed in August by Rockwell.
“Rockwell Automation is serious about protecting our intellectual property and patent infringement. When it’s violated, we will aggressively pursue it,” said John Miller, Rockwell Automation vice president and chief counsel, intellectual property.
The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930. The investigation focuses on programmable industrial controllers and software used in the automation of factories, warehouse and utilities. Rockwell’s complaint alleges the violations occurred in the importation and sale of those produces. It asks the commission to issue limited exclusion and cease-and-desist orders.
An administrative law judge will hold evidentiary hearings on the case and determine whether a violation occurred. That finding is subject to review by the full commission.
The USITC will set a target date for completion of the investigation within 45 days.
Representatives from the companies named in the investigation did not immediately respond to requests for comment.