The US International Trade Commission (USITC) has begun an investigation into a patent infringement complaint filed by Reebok against TRB Acquisitions over its athletic shoe technology. 

The products at issue in the investigation, initiated yesterday (8 September), are athletic running and training footwear with specific sole technology. Adidas-owned Reebok International alleges TRB and its affiliates, which include licensee Elite Performance Footwear,, RBX Active, and RBX Direct, violated section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930.

The complaint centres around technology used in a number of Reebok's athletic shoes that "absorb impact forces" and conform to an individual's foot. The technology has been used in several of the brand's shoes, including its RealFlex Train footwear.

The investigation is looking into the importation into the US and the sale of certain athletic footwear that infringe the patents. It is requesting the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

"By instituting this investigation, the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case," it said. "The USITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation."