Electric auto components maker Flash Electronics India on Monday said it has filed a lawsuit against Eicher Motors Ltd’s Royal Enfield in the US for alleged patent infringement of a component used in two-wheeler vehicles.
According to the suit, Royal Enfield (the two-wheeler division of Eicher Motors) has infringed Flash Electronics’ patent on “regulator rectifier device and method for regulating an output voltage of the same” issued by the United States Patent & Trademark Office on February 20, 2018.
Flash Electronics said, in a statement on Monday, that it would file similar suits in several European countries as Germany, France, Italy, Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Austria, Switzerland and Turkey had granted patents for the device.
The regulator-rectifier is a vital component that smoothly and efficiently converts the AC (alternating current) voltage produced in motorcycle engines into DC (direct current) voltage to charge the batteries, power the headlights, light up the instrument panel, hence driving the motorcycle’s electrical systems.
Sanjeev Vasdev, Managing Director, Flash Electronics India Pvt Ltd, said: “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. This incident is highly objectionable and has dented the credibility of the brand, at least with us as a partner.”
Vasdev said that the company was approached by three officials of Royal Enfield on October 12, 2018 in New Delhi to settle the issue “amicably” and “not to file any suit on the matter”. Royal Enfield did not, however, address the issue.
He added that the component maker will take all necessary action required across the world to ensure that Royal Enfield stops infringing the patent and pays compensation for the violation which would run into millions of dollars.
Meanwhile, Eicher Motors in a statement said: “Even though no official communication has been received, we have learned of a lawsuit filed in the United States of America by Flash Electronics Pvt Ltd. that alleges that one of the components used in some of our motorcycle models sold in the USA infringe on the plaintiff’s registered patent.
“We would like to clarify that the said component is supplied to us by an external proprietary supplier, which independently develops and owns the IP rights in the said component.”
According to Eicher Motors, the supplier denies the plaintiff’s claims vehemently and the company is actively evaluating the issue internally and seeking legal advice from its US counsels.