Litens Automotive Files German Patent Infringement Action

By Joseph Mandour on October 28, 2011

automobile-200x134 Los Angeles – Toronto based Litens Automotive filed an action for patent infringement in a German court against Flennor Automotive for infringement of automatic belt tensioner patents. Litens claims that the Flennor automatic belt tensioners are knock offs of Litens’ easy-install tensioners. The belt tensioners at issue were used in many Volkswagon and Audi engines from 2002 to 2009.

Litens owns U.S. Patent No. 7,285,065 as well as patents in Europe and China and claims it has undergone efforts worldwide to detect patent infringers. According to a Litens spokesperson, the latest patent infringement suit was brought as part of the auto parts company’s worldwide patent enforcement efforts. Along with requesting monetary damages, Litens also seeks an injunction against Flennor Automotive to prevent Flennor from continuing to manufacture and distribute the allegedly infringing article. Litens Automotive also issued a statement warning consumers that use of the alleged knock off belt tensioners could result in “catastrophic engine failure.”

German based Flennor Automotive supplies replacement parts such as belts and components for most automobile makes and models. Plaintiff Litens Automotive is one of the world’s leading component manufacturers whose parts have been utilized by auto makers such as Volkswagen and Audi, among others.

As the patent owner, Litens owns exclusive rights in the patented article similar to the rights granted under U.S. law, including the right to use, make, or sell the patented article. If the Flennor belt tensioner is found to be infringing upon Litens’ patents, Litens may be entitled to an injunction or damages including recovery of profits made, enhanced damages, or attorney’s fees. Germany is a first to file patent jurisdiction, meaning that the first party to file a patent is given preference in patent issuance. The United States recently adopted the “first to file” approach in the America Invents Act, reforming the prior “first to invent” policy.

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Posted in: Patent Infringement