Auto component maker Flash Electronics has filed a lawsuit against Royal Enfield in the US, alleging patent violation of a component — regulator rectifier device — and has sought up to three times the amount of compensatory damages found. The complaint has been filed at the US District Court of Wisconsin, eastern region.
As per the complaint, Royal Enfield had first sought to buy regulator-rectifiers from Flash, but when the parties could not agree on the price, the company secretly reverse-engineered its products and copied its patented technology. The complaint has been filed against Royal Enfield and its arm Royal Enfield North America.
When contacted, the Eicher Motors-owned company said, “We are in receipt of the said notice, and our teams in USA are reviewing the complaint.”
Meanwhile, Royal Enfield was quoted by PTI as saying that 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 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. The supplier denies plaintiff’s claims vehemently,” it said in a statement.
Sanjeev Vasdev, founder and MD, Flash Electronics India, alleged that when the companies did not agree on the price, RE appointed an Indian firm to copy the design. “We reminded them on multiple occasions about the infringement and also issued a cease and desist letter last year, for which we received a very standard reply stating that they are not violating any rights,” he said.
A regulator rectifier device converts the AC (alternating current) voltage produced in motorcycle engines into DC (direct current) voltage to charge batteries, power the headlights and light up the instrument panel.—FE & PTI