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Toshiba files complaint in U.S. against 17 companies on DVD patents

Toshiba Corp. has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission and sued 17 companies, alleging infringement of its DVD patents, the Japanese electronics maker said Monday.

The commission is an independent federal agency that checks on unfair trade practices and copyright infringements.

Toshiba filed a complaint Friday to the commission against the 17 companies, mostly Hong Kong and Chinese manufacturers and importers, demanding that their imports to the U.S. of DVD players, DVD recorders and other digital video disc products.

Also Friday, Toshiba filed a lawsuit demanding monetary damages to the same companies in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Toshiba spokeswoman Yuko Sugahara declined to comment on the damage amount.

Toshiba licenses DVD patents, but the companies, including Daewoo Electronics America Inc. of the U.S., Dongguan GVG Digital Technology of China and Star Light Electronics Co. of Hong Kong, don't have such licensing agreements, Toshiba said. Imported DVD products are sold without proper permission, the company said.

"The infringement of Toshiba's patents by these companies has damaged Toshiba's DVD-related business, and also caused damage to the legitimate and licensed DVD product manufacturing and distribution and business as a whole," Tokyo-based Toshiba said in a statement.

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