Flash Electronics files lawsuit against Royal Enfield in the US; RE refutes FE's allegations - All details here
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 & Trademark Office (USPTO) to Flash Electronics on February 20, 2018 after Flash’s R&D department made a breakthrough invention of the component in 2014.
Electronic and electric auto components player Flash Electronics India Ltd has filed a lawsuit against iconic Indian motorcycle-maker Royal Enfield. The said lawsuit is about patent infringement in the US regarding the production of an important component for two-wheelers/motorcycles, a statement by Flash Electronics said.
What does the lawsuit say?
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 & Trademark Office (USPTO) to Flash Electronics on February 20, 2018 after Flash’s R&D department made a breakthrough invention of 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, says Flash Electronics.
What is regulator-rectifier 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 and hence, drives the motorcycle’s electrical systems.
Besides USA, Flash has been granted patent in various other countries including many European countries including 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.
Commenting on the incident, Sanjeev Vasdev, Founder and Managing Director, Flash Electronics India Pvt Ltd 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. This incident is highly objectionable and has dented the credibility of the brand, at least with us as a partner”.
"The company was approached by 3 senior officials of Royal Enfield on 12th October 2018 in New Delhi to settle the issue amicably and requested Flash not to file any suit on the matter. Flash waited for the outcome of this meeting but Royal Enfield did not address the issue," says Vasdev.
"Flash 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," Vasdev concluded.
What RE has to say?
Reacting to the Flash's allegations, Royal Enfield has released a statement. Here is the FULL TEXT by RE:-
"Royal Enfield (A unit of Eicher Motors Ltd.) is a responsible company that has been working with various suppliers for over 60 years, in a manner that meets all legal and regulatory requirements. Even though no official communication has been received, we have learnt 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. The supplier denies plaintiff’s claims vehemently. We are actively evaluating the issue internally and seeking legal advice from our US counsels."