Bajaj gets engine technology patent

Last Updated: Fri, Apr 03, 2009 04:36 hrs

Mumbai: Bajaj Auto has been granted the patent for its ‘ExhausTEC’ invention, which was a bone of contention in its legal feud with TVS Motor Company.

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In a press release issued on Wednesday signed by its Vice-President, Business Development, S. Ravikumar, Bajaj Auto said it had been granted Patent no 231498 dated March 5, 2009 by the Indian Patent office. This grant was published in the Patent Gazette of March 27.

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The release states that ExhausTEC “significantly improves low/mid-range torque in a single cylinder four-stroke engine, employing a chamber of pre-determined volume attached to the exhaust pipe.” Bajaj, it adds, has used it on its motorcycles since August 2004 when it filed a patent for this technology.

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The feud between Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor began in late-2007 on technology infringement relating to use of twin spark technology on TVS Motor’s new motorcycle. Bajaj said this was inspired by its own patented DTSi (digital twin spark ignition) initiative.

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The company had also made a similar allegation on ExhausTec on December 12, 2007 when it served a notice on TVS Motor regarding this “potential infringement.”

The release outlines a chronology of events beginning with August 30, 2007 when TVS unveiled a series of new products at Hosur and Bajaj observed a chamber attachment “looking similar to its ExhausTEC on a product displayed.”

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On December 24, TVS filed a pre-grant opposition before the Indian Patent Office under Section 25(1) of the Patents Act, 1970 opposing grant of patent for this invention.

The company had then on January 7, 2008 replied to the Bajaj notice “informing filing of pre-grant opposition, whilst denying that this invention of Bajaj had been incorporated in their product.”

The release goes on to state that on January 30, the Indian Patent Office served on Bajaj documents pertaining to the Examination Report along with a copy of the Representation filed by TVS Motor opposing grant of patent to Bajaj for ExhausTEC.

December 11, 2008 saw an in-room hearing before the Assistant Controller of Patents and Designs in Mumbai “after due responses from Bajaj regarding objections of TVS on novelty and inventive step of the invention”.

The release then states that the Indian Patent Office dismissed TVS’ pre-grant opposition on March 5 this year and granted a patent to Bajaj for 20 years from the “priority date of August 6, 2004.”

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