Auto component manufacturer Flash Electronics India Monday said it has filed a suit against niche bike maker Royal Enfield in the US for patent infringement regarding production of an electronic component.
The company claimed the patent for its product was duly issued by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) on February 20, 2018, after its research and development team came up with 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, it said in a statement.
"We have been trusted suppliers to leading auto manufacturers across India and overseas and it is unfortunate to have to deal with such an unexpected and unprecedented act on the part of Royal Enfield," Flash Electronics India founder and Managing Director Sanjeev Vasdev said.
The incident is objectionable and has dented the credibility of Royal Enfield, at least with Flash Electronics India as a partner, he added.
Vasdev claimed that Flash was approached by three senior officials of Royal Enfield on October, 12, 2018, in New Delhi to settle the issue amicably and requested it not to file any suit on the matter.
"Flash waited for the outcome of this meeting but Royal Enfield did not address the issue," he noted.
He added that the company 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.
He also urged other component manufacturers to be vigilant on this kind of predatory behaviour.
Comments from Royal Enfield could not be immediately obtained.
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 US, Flash said it has been granted patent in various other countries including Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Austria, Switzerland as well as Turkey and the company would file similar suits in the respective jurisdictions soon.
The Flash group currently supplies components to various leading domestic two-wheeler companies including Bajaj Auto, India Yamaha Motor, and JAWA Motorcycles. Globally, it caters to Porsche, Audi, BMW, KTM, Kawasaki, Harley-Davidson, Ducati, Triumph and BRP-Rotax.