At AAPEX 2010, Robert Bosch LLC, issued a statement about Bosch’s commitment to R&D and how the company aggressively protects and defends its intellectual property. At that time, Bosch identified a number of patent infringement lawsuits previously brought against certain manufacturers and suppliers of beam blades to the US market. Additionally, Bosch filed suit against several patent infringers who had been identified on the AAPEX show floor.
Bosch is pleased with the final results of 11 of the 15 actions taken to date, and with the continuing efforts in the remaining cases:
- Six favorable settlements (Jamak Global Wipers, Old World Industries, Unipoint, SHB-UAB, and Transbec), one of which was completed without a lawsuit (SOPUS-RainX)
- Five resulted in default judgments with injunctive relief (Chin Pech, Jiujiang Yada Traffic Equipment, Ocean Automobile Apparatus Co., Zhejiang Wandeyuan Vehicle Fittings, Ningbo Xinhui Aiduo Automobile Wiper Blade Manufacturing)
- After a successful district court decision of infringement of valid patent claims, one case is ongoing on appeal, with a permanent injunction ordered. (Pylon)
- Three other cases are still ongoing in the district court (ADM21, CAP, UPC/Scan Top)
Bosch Regional President Odd Joergenrud stated, "Bosch is pleased with the results of these actions as they bear out that Bosch is clearly the innovator of these patented wiper technologies. Furthermore, it sends the message to manufacturers and suppliers that Bosch will aggressively defend its intellectual property to the full extent of the law."
Toward that position, on Wednesday, October 26, 2011, Bosch filed a request with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) that it institute an investigation under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 against fourteen proposed respondents that Bosch alleges are involved with unlawful imports of ‘flat’ or ‘beam-type’ wiper products that infringe Bosch patents. Bosch expects the ITC to make a decision on whether to institute the investigation within 30 days.
Companies named in that filing include:
- ADM21 Company, Ltd.
- ADM Co. (North America) Ltd.
- Alberee Products, Inc., d/b/a Saver Automotive Products, Inc.
- API Korea Co., Ltd.
- Cequent Consumer Products, Inc.
- Corea Autoparts Producing Corporation d/b/a CAP America
- Danyang UPC Auto Parts Co., Ltd.
- Fu-Gang Co., Ltd.
- PIAA Corporation, USA
- Pylon Manufacturing Corp.
- RainEater, LLC
- Scan Top Enterprises Co., Ltd.
- Stoner, Inc.
- Winplus North America Inc.
Subsequent to the ITC filing, further wiper blade infringement activities were identified by Bosch legal counsel and show management on the exhibit floor at AAPEX 2011 in Las Vegas. AAPEX officials took action against seven vendors of infringing wiper blades, and Bosch filed an additional infringement lawsuit against Jiujiang Yada and its proprietor.
Bosch continues to devote extensive funding to R&D, investing approximately $5 billion (3.8 billion euros) in 2010 and applying for over 3,800 patents worldwide. As the world’s original equipment and innovation leader, Bosch is dedicated to bringing the most innovative, high quality aftermarket products to its customers and to end-consumer motorists. In pursuit of that commitment, the company will vigorously and proactively take the necessary steps to protect its products and intellectual property rights against any and all forms of infringement.
AAIA claims violators will face consequences.
While this agreement relates primarily to battery-powered APU product technologies, the two companies will also explore additional collaborations relating to technologies, marketing and distribution.