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US trade body ends infringement probe into Toyota, Honda

The U.S. International Trade Commission, or ITC, has cleared Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. Ltd. from a patent infringement complaint made by licensing company Intellectual Ventures Management LLC, which claimed the carmakers breached five of its patents.

Intellectual Ventures said Toyota and Honda violated its patents for power steering and water and coolant pumps, prompting an investigation into the Japanese carmakers' import and sales activities in the U.S.

In a July 19 announcement, the ITC said the patents Intellectual Ventures tried to protect were invalid. The intellectual property licensing company in 2017 accused multiple carmakers and auto parts companies of violating its patents related to thermoplastic-encapsulated electric motors.

The ITC had also previously dismissed similar complaints by Intellectual Ventures against Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, DENSO Corp., Nidec Corp. and Mitsuba Corp.