May 18, 2016 / 4:46 PM / 3 years ago

U.S. trade panel opens patent probe into Volkswagen hybrid vehicles

Volkswagen's logo is seen at its dealer shop in Beijing, China, October 1, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. International Trade Commission on Wednesday said it launched an investigation into whether Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) and its subsidiaries infringed hybrid electric vehicle patents owned by Baltimore-based Paice LLC.

The commission said in a press release that it has not yet made any decisions on the merits of the case.

Paice is seeking a cease-and-desist order that would block importation and sales of Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche brand hybrid vehicles in the U.S. market. After a similar ITC complaint against Toyota Motor Corp, (7203.T) Paice struck a licensing deal in 2010 with Toyota that covers 23 hybrid electrical control patents.

Reporting By David Lawder

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