Company News

Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc. - Melville, NY

Original Press Release

Chinese Court Rules in Favor of Leviton in GFCI Patent Suit Brought by General Protecht Group

Press release date: Jul 23, 2010

Melville, New York, July 23, 2010 - Leviton, North America's leading producer of electrical and electronic wiring devices and the foremost manufacturer of GFCIs worldwide, is pleased to announce a legal ruling in its favor by China's Guangdong High People's Court in a suit brought against Leviton byTongling Technology Group, now known as General Protecht Group. On June 23, 2010, the court rejected Tongling's appeal and affirmed the judgment of the Guangzhou Intermediate Court, which earlier this year ruled in Leviton's favor and dismissed a patent infringement suit brought against Leviton's Dongguan-based subsidiary, Leviton Electronic Co., Ltd.

China-based General Protecht originally filed the lawsuit against Leviton Electronic Co, Ltd. in 2006, claiming that Leviton GFCI products infringed on its design patent for 20 Amp GFCIs. In response, Leviton initiated an action to review the validity of General Protecht's patent on grounds that it merely covered a standard GFCI design that had been available to the public for decades. On September 2, 2009, the Beijing High People's Court determined that General Protecht had no right to the patent.

"We are very pleased with our experience before the judiciary for properly and fairly applying the law which led to a complete vindication of our Chinese subsidiary. From the onset, it was clear to us that General Protecht's assertion of its design patent was incorrect," said Meir Blonder, Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, "As a manufacturer of GFCIs, it is difficult to believe that General Protecht was not aware that the design it claimed as its own was already a public design. We are gratified that the Chinese courts concurred with Leviton that these allegations were unenforceable. The favorable decision on appeal brings this matter to a close."

About Leviton

Leviton is the largest privately-held global provider of electrical wiring devices, data center connectivity solutions and lighting energy management systems. Founded at the turn of the 20th century in America, Leviton has grown to become one of the most preeminent leaders in the electrical industry. Today Leviton's product portfolio consists of over 25,000 devices and systems used in homes, businesses and industry. Proven to be a smart choice, nine out of ten homes throughout North America have Leviton products installed in them. Builders, electrical contractors and other industry professionals rank Leviton products #1 in brand preference.