Flash Electronics Files Lawsuit Against Royal Enfield for Patent Infringement
The Pune-based company in the lawsuit had said that Royal Enfield infringed its patent on 'Regulator Rectifier Device' and method for regulating an output voltage of the same.
Royal Enfield Concept KX Motorcycle. (Image: News18.com)
Auto component manufacturer Flash Electronics India Monday said it has filed a suit against niche bike maker Royal Enfield in the US for patent infringement regarding the production of an electronic component. The Pune-based company in the lawsuit said Royal Enfield has infringed its patent on 'Regulator Rectifier Device' and method for regulating an output voltage of the same. The company claimed the patent for its product was duly issued by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) on February 20, 2018, after its research and development team came up with the component in 2014.
Since then, Flash Electronics has been the key manufacturer and supplier of this component to many leading two-wheeler manufacturers in India and overseas, it said in a statement. Royal Enfield in a statement said though it has received no official communication, it has learnt of a lawsuit filed in the US by Flash Electronics Pvt Ltd. that alleges that one of the components used in some of our motorcycle models sold in the USA infringes 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. The supplier denies plaintiff's claims vehemently," it said. Flash Electronics India founder and Managing Director Sanjeev Vasdev said, "We have been trusted suppliers to leading auto manufacturers across India and overseas and it is unfortunate to have to deal with such an unexpected and unprecedented act on the part of Royal Enfield,"
The incident is objectionable and has dented the credibility of Royal Enfield, at least with Flash Electronics India as a partner, he added. Vasdev claimed that Flash was approached by three senior officials of Royal Enfield on October 12, 2018, in New Delhi to settle the issue amicably and requested it not to file any suit on the matter. "Flash waited for the outcome of this meeting but Royal Enfield did not address the issue," he noted.
He added that the company 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. He also urged other component manufacturers to be vigilant on this kind of predatory behaviour. 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, lights up the instrument panel, hence drives the motorcycle's electrical systems.
Besides the US, Flash said it has been granted a patent in various other countries including Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Austria, Switzerland as well as Turkey and the company would file similar suits in the respective jurisdictions soon. The Flash group currently supplies components to various leading domestic two-wheeler companies including Bajaj Auto, India Yamaha Motor, and JAWA Motorcycles. Globally, it caters to Porsche, Audi, BMW, KTM, Kawasaki, Harley-Davidson, Ducati, Triumph and BRP-Rotax
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