Flash Electronics India, a leading electronic and electric auto components player, has filed a law suit against Royal Enfield challenging patent infringement in the US regarding production of a key component for motorcycles.
As per the suit filed, Royal Enfield has allegedly 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 (USPTO) to Flash Electronics on February 20, 2018.
When contacted by Autocar Professional, a Royal Enfield official confirmed that “the company is in receipt of the notice and our teams in the USA are reviewing the same.”
Flash Electronics says its R&D department made a breakthrough invention of the component in 2014. Since then, the company has been the manufacturer and supplier of this component to many leading two-wheeler manufacturers in India and overseas.
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 drives the motorcycle’s electrical systems.
Besides the USA, Flash Electronics has been granted a patent in 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 issue, Sanjeev Vasdev, founder and managing director, Flash Electronics India, said “Flash Electronics is a responsible and mature member of the automotive community, manufacturing cutting edge engineering products since decades and is recognised on a global automotive front for its strong in-house R&D capabilities. 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.”
According to the press note, “Flash Electronics 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.”
Royal Enfield says part is supplied by a firm which owns the IP rights
In a statement issued late evening, Royal Enfield said, "Royal Enfield 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."