In a welcoming decision, Bajaj Auto and TVS Motors have reached an out of court settlement for a patent dispute that had been going on for more than a decade now. Both companies have decided to withdraw lawsuits filed against each other. The information in this regard has already been shared with all the relevant stakeholders including stock exchanges. Both companies have also informed that there will be no implication of this decision on their balance sheets.
The case started in 2007 when Bajaj Auto filed an infringement case against TVS Motors for copying its patented DTS-i technology. Bajaj alleged that TVS is using the same technology with a different name in its 125 cc Flame bike. TVS refuted the allegation and filed a counter case seeking dismissal of the case against it. In addition, TVS went ahead and filed Rs 250 crore defamation suit against the Bajaj. Cases went on for years and were pending before a number of courts including the Madras High Court, Bombay High Court, and intellectual property appellate board. Some of the cases were also filed overseas in the markets of Mexico and Sri Lanka and like the Indian cases; the decision was pending in foreign courts too.
Bajaj has patented DTS-i technology which uses the twin spark ignition system for providing smooth consumption and better fuel efficiency. Bajaj claimed that TVS used technology to power its products although TVS said that it has designed its engine in collaboration with AVL research Institute based in Austria. TVS further added that its engine uses 3-valve while Bajaj’s DTS-i comes only with a 2-valve arrangement.
Industry veterans and experts suggest that the real reason behind this mutual understanding is the upcoming BS-6 emission norms which will possibly render DTS-i technology obsolete. As the deadline April 2020 approaches, it doesn’t make any sense to continue to quarrel on technology which is soon going to become a thing of past.