U.S. trade panel begins patent probe against Caterpillar

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. International Trade Commission said on Tuesday it would begin a patent infringement probe of road milling equipment by Caterpiller (CAT.N) and several subsidiaries after a complaint by Wirtgen America, the U.S. subsidiary of a German firm.

The machinery under scrutiny is used to mill asphalt and concrete pavement to create a base for a new road surfaces, the USITC said in a statement. Wirtgen America is the subsidiary of Wirtgen Beteiligungs GMBH, a privately held German firm that manufactures construction equipment.

Reporting by David Alexander

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