Saturday, October 27, 2007

TVS takes lead in DTS-i patent war

TVS motor has filed a defamation suit against Bajaj Auto in Bombay High Court and another suit in Madras High Court under the patent law. With this, TVS has taken the lead to begin the legal war with its rival, Bajaj Auto.

Earlier this week, TVS filed a Rs 250-crore defamation suit in Bombay High Court against Bajaj Auto’s allegation of infringement (by TVS) of intellectual property rights on technology that is used in most Bajaj bikes. TVS has also filed another suit under the Indian Patents Act in Madras High Court to counter Bajaj’s claims on patent violation or infringement by TVS.

Soon after TVS unveiled a range of new products on August 30, 2007, Bajaj had alleged that TVS had used its digital twin spark ignition technology ( DTS-i) in the latest models, including the 125-cc bike, Flame, that was showcased by TVS on the occasion.

In turn, TVS declared if the “malicious and reckless charge” was not withdrawn by Bajaj, it would file a libel suit for Rs 250 crore. TVS also said it would ensure, by appropriate legal means, that Bajaj did not interfere with its use of its in-house VTi technology, on the basis of which TVS has already announced new launches commencing November.

Now that TVS is preparing for the launches in November and December, it has filed the Rs 250-crore defamation suit in Bombay High Court. When contacted by ET, a senior TVS Motor official confirmed filing of the suit.

“As of now, we do not know what will be the reaction from Bajaj and also when they will react,” the official added. TVS has also filed another suit in Madras High Court to counter its rival’s charge that TVS had copied its patented digital twin spark ignition technology in the 125-cc TVS flame slated to be launched in December. TVS’s contention is that it is a “groundless threat”.

TVS’s stated stand on the technology issue is that “the patent rights claimed by Bajaj Auto for its Internal Combustion Engine is not for ‘twin spark plugs’ per se. It is for the use of twin spark plugs in two valve engine.” On the other hand, TVS technology is a combination of its in-house developed innovative technology VTi and use of AVL’s patented 3 valves technology in engine.

In line with its stand, TVS Motor in August this year, moved an application before the Intellectual property Appellate board, Chennai, to revoke the patent granted to Bajaj Auto on the ground that patent claimed by Bajaj is a known prior art.

Sources in Bajaj Auto said the company has not yet received any paper or communication from the court. The company would study the papers and take necessary action to defend itself before the court of law.

Source:- Economictimes.indiatimes

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