Press Release
March 12, 2009

Goodwin Procter Achieves Major Victory for Electrical Device Manufacturer

ITC Rules Foreign Companies Violated Patents and Shutters their
Importation of Infringing Products into the United States

NEW YORK, March 12, 2009 — In a final decision issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), Goodwin Procter LLP achieved a major litigation victory for its client Pass & Seymour/Legrand (P&S), a leading supplier of electrical wiring devices.  The ITC ruled that multiple China-based manufacturers and their U.S. distributors had infringed P&S patents and ordered those companies and their U.S. distributors to stop importation of infringing ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) products into the United States. 

“This hard fought ruling/order shows the value of investing in and protecting intellectual property, especially in this economic downturn,” said Mark Abate, partner at Goodwin Procter and lead counsel for P&S in the case.  “This decision will enable P&S to fend off unfair competition, maintain market share, and preserve high-end R&D jobs and the innovation those workers create, in a product category the company created almost 40 years ago.”

GFCI receptacles were invented and developed by P&S in 1971, and are required by building codes in kitchens and bathrooms.  GFCI receptacles which are identifiable by “test” and “reset” buttons on their face, have saved thousands of lives, by reducing electrocution in homes and buildings.

P&S’s Complaint was filed by Goodwin Procter in August 2007, the trial held in June 2008.  The investigation included six patents and 15 respondents.  Following the nine-day trial, the ITC Administrative Law Judge Carl C. Charneski noted numerous violations of P&S’s patents.

Abate served as lead counsel for P&S.  George R. McGuire of Bond Schoeneck & King, PLLC’s Syracuse, New York office served as co-counsel.  The Goodwin Procter trial team also included attorney Calvin Wingfield.  Since 2007, Goodwin Procter has been involved in five ITC investigations.
To see the P&S news release on the ITC findings, please go to  The decisions are available on the ITC website at

About Goodwin Procter
Goodwin Procter LLP is one of the nation’s leading law firms with more than 900 attorneys in offices in Boston, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Washington, DC.  The firm’s core areas of practice are corporate, litigation and real estate, with specialized areas of focus that include financial services, private equity, technology, REITs and real estate capital markets, intellectual property, tax and products liability.  Information may be found at