CLEVELAND, Ohio — Delaware U.S. District Court Chief Judge Joseph Farnan has handed down an injunction in favor of Eaton Corp. in its patent infringement lawsuit against ArvinMeritor.
The injunction prohibits further manufacture or sale of any ArvinMeritor truck transmissions that incorporate the ESS shift automation system and any colorable variations thereof. The court has yet to rule on the amount of damages due Eaton.
In its lawsuit, Eaton claimed that the Rockwell “ESS” transmission — manufactured and sold first by Rockwell, and then by Meritor and ArvinMeritor — infringed an Eaton patent which covers a specific clutch-less shifting system. The technology is used in its current Eaton Fuller AutoShift transmissions, as well as other partially and fully-automated transmissions in its product line.
The system allows shifting of heavy duty truck transmissions without requiring use of the vehicle’s master clutch. A jury verdict in favor of Eaton was entered July 1, 1998, finding that Rockwell and Meritor “willfully infringed” upon Eaton’s technology.
“We believe that the jury and the court gave careful and deliberate consideration to this case, and that the correct result was reached,” says Tim Morscheck, vice-president and general manager of Eaton’s Truck Electronics Systems Division. “We welcome fair competition in the marketplace, but we refuse to compete against our own patented technology.”
Morscheck adds, Eaton expects ArvinMeritor to appeal, but he is confident that today’s ruling will be upheld.
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