Electric auto components maker Flash Electronics on Monday filed a lawsuit against Eicher Motors' Royal Enfield challenging a patent infringement in the US regarding the production of an important component for two-wheelers.
As per the suit filed, Royal Enfield has infringed Flash electronics’ patent on “regulator rectifier device and method for regulating an output voltage of the same” duly issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to Flash Electronics.
Eicher Motors said it received a notice on the lawsuit filed in the US against its motorcycle brand Royal Enfield for infringing the electronics' patent. The firm said it is reviewing the complaint.
The component, key for two-wheelers and motorcycles, ensures smooth and efficient conversion of alternating current voltage produced in motorcycle engines into a direct current voltage to charge the batteries, power the headlights, light up the instrument panel hence drives the motorcycle’s electrical systems, Flash Electronics said in a statement said.
"Other than the US, Flash has been granted patent in various other countries such as Germany, France, Italy, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Austria, Switzerland as well as Turkey and the company would be filing similar suits in the respective jurisdictions soon," it said.
“We have been trusted suppliers to leading auto manufacturers across India and overseas and it’s unfortunate to have to deal with such an unexpected and unprecedented act on the part of Royal Enfield, one of the most prestigious names in the automotive sector," said
Sanjeev Vasdev, founder and managing director, Flash Electronics. "This incident is highly objectionable and has dented the credibility of the brand, at least with us as a partner.”
In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Vasdev said the penalty for Eicher Motors could run into millions of dollars because the penalty will not be only per unit basis, it also includes the money spent on lawsuits in the US and other countries. He said the lawyers are already working on it and by next month they would be likely ready to file lawsuits across the countries.
The firm has been a key manufacturer and supplier of this component to many two-wheeler companies in India and abroad.Vasdev said that the firms tried to solve the case without filing a suit in October last year but Royal Enfield did not provide them with a response.