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TVS gets SC relief on twin-spark row.

TVS MOTOR Company on Wednesday got a breather with the Supreme Court allowing it to make and sell 125- cc Flame motorcycles with twin- spark plug technology on which arch rival Bajaj Auto claims to hold a patent.

A Bench headed by Justice Markandey Katju, while disposing of Bajaj's petition, asked the Madras High Court to hold day- today hearings and decide the matter before November 30.

TVS Motor Company on Wednesday got a breather with the Supreme Court allowing it to manufacture and sell 125- cc Flame motorcycles with twin- spark plug technology on which arch rival Bajaj Auto claims to hold a patent.

A Bench headed by Justice Markandey Katju, while disposing of

Bajaj's petition, asked the Madras High Court to hold day- to- day hearings and decide the matter before November 30.

" Without going into the merits of the case... the respondent ( TVS) is allowed to sell till the pendency of the suit before the high court, but it shall maintain accurate records of its sales all over the country," the court order states. The apex court also ordered the high court to appoint a receiver who will keep a record of Flame sales across the country.

While vacating its interim orders of June 8 and August 31, which allowed TVS Motor to manufacture TVS Flame but restrained it from moving its finished product from its warehouse, the Bench added that the single judge should not be influenced by any observations made by the apex court or the division bench of the high court.

The directions came on a petition filed by Bajaj Auto Ltd challenging the Madras

High Court's ruling that permitted TVS to use twin- spark plugs in its motorcycles.

The single Bench of the high court had earlier restrained TVS from manufacturing, marketing and selling 125 cc motorcycle TVS Flame after Bajaj Auto had raised objections on the ground that it constituted a violation of its patent rights over the twin spark plugs technology.

The order came after a petition was filed by Bajaj Auto seeking to restrain TVS from manufacturing and selling TVS Flame having twin- spark technology, the high court granted the stay order.

However, TVS had contended that it should be allowed to go ahead with the manufacturing of the motorcycle as the patent had been challenged before the Intellectual Property Appellate Board and there could not be any blanket ban.

The Madras High Court had then set aside its earlier order restraining TVS Motor from manufacturing and marketing vehicles with twinspark technology.

This judgment allowed TVS Motors to use and market the disputed technology in its products.

Bajaj had stated that it holds the Indian patent on its invention titled ' An improved internal combustion engine working on four- stroke principle' since July 16, 2002.

Originally, TVS Motor Company had filed a petition seeking to restrain Bajaj Auto from issuing groundless threats to it and also sued the latter for Rs 250- crore damage.

THE GREAT DTSi DEBATE

DTSi means Digital Twin Spark Ignition -- a technology that uses two spark plugs per engine cylinder, which is different from the previous technology which used one spark plug for each engine cylinder.

This is a patented trademark of Bajaj Auto Ltd ( BAL) and the technology is used in Pulsar motorcycles.

The two- wheeler was developed by the product engineering division of BAL in association with motorcycle designer Glynn Kerr Tokyo R& D.

A petition was filed by BAL seeking to restrain TVS from manufacturing and selling TVS Flame with twin- spark technology as BAL held the Indian patent

TVS Motor Company on Wednesday got a breather with the Supreme Court allowing it to manufacture and sell 125- cc Flame motorcycles with twinspark plug technology

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Sep 17, 2009
Words:637
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