The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) on Tuesday initiated a Section 337 investigation on eight Chinese and one U.S. producers of paper shredders. The probe is based on a complaint filed by Fellowes, Inc., of Itasca, Illinois and Fellowes Office Products (Suzhou) Co., of Suzhou, China, in late December 2012, said the USITC in a statement. The accuser claimed Section 337 violations involving patents infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets, and requested an exclusion order and cease and desist orders, according to the federal bipartisan panel. The institution of the investigation does not mean the USITC has made any decision on the merits of the case. Within 45 days the body will set a target date for completing the investigation. Should the complaint be approved, the panel will issue remedial orders, such as a ban on importation of accused products. The United States has launched several antidumping and Section 337 investigations against Chinese products in recent months. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has repeatedly urged Washington to abide by its commitment against protectionism and help maintain a free, open and just international trade environment.