In the latest setback to Bajaj Auto, the Indian Patents Office has granted two new patents to TVS Motor, dismissing the pre-grant oppositions filed by Bajaj. The patents granted to TVS are expected to improve fuel economy, spur performance and lower emissions. The patents battle between the two companies has been going on for over a decade. Of the two patents, an application for cylinder head assembly was filed on August 24, 2007, and another on multi valve cylinder head assembly was filed on October 12, 2007. The first application was related to a cylinder head assembly for the internal combustion engine, claimed to offer better fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions as compared to the existing engines. The second is related to an invention for smaller capacity vehicles in order to improve performance. Bajaj Auto has submitted its pre-grant opposition, raising grounds, including that the subject matter of the application is anticipated, obvious and does not involve any inventive step, among others. It has also filed a common written submission for two applications, and has also alleged that filing of the patent application on October 12 amounts to duplication. M Ajith, deputy controller of patents and designs, patents office, Chennai, while considering both the applications separately, granted both the patents after considering and hearing arguments of both sides. “In view of all the above mentioned discussion in light of all the submissions of the learned agents of the opponents and learned agent for the applicants along with the submitted documents, the pre-grant representations are hereby dismissed. I find claimed invention is novel and inventive in accordance with the Patents Act,” said the official, while allowing the applications to proceed for grant with amended claims.
Emails sent to both the companies did not elicit a response. Both the auto majors, which compete on market share, had locked horns in certain instances, including on the intellectual property dispute on TVS Motor’s twin spark plug configuration used in its motorcycle model Flame, which Bajaj said is an infringement of its patent, according to legal experts. According to reports, in another instance, Bajaj Auto has filed a pre-grant opposition against TVS Motor’s patent application on a shock absorber with helper spring, in which the patent office denied patent protection to TVS’ claimed invention. The order was passed in July 2016. Many of these litigations have seen both these companies going for appeal against an order.