The United States will began an investigation into whether thermoplastic component used in some Japanese and German vehicle models sold in country violate its patent laws, trade authorities. The U.S. International Trade Commission listed 25 companies into probe, including BMW, Honda Motors, Toyota Motorcorp, along with Japanese part supplier Aisin Seiki.
The probe was initiated by patent holding firm intellectual ventures, which in March filed a complaint alleging that thermoplastic parts used in Motors, water pumps, electronic power steering units and other powertrain parts used in motors, water pumps, electronic power steering units, and other power train parts made by or used in vehicle sold by companies infringe on its patent. Used in parts which come in contact with high-temperature auto-components, thermoplastics are more light weight and durable compared with other material used in vehicle powertrains helping to increase efficiency and improve fuel economy.
The complaint affects vehicle model sold in United States including 2016 Toyota Camry, 2017 Honda Accord, according to patent company. The USITC said it would set a large target date to complete its investigation within 45 days of starting the probe. Shares in Toyota and Honda were little changed during the Tokyo session on Monday. A Toyota spokeswoman declined to comment on the issue while officials in Japan, Honda, Aisin, and Denso were not immediately available.