ArvinMeritor files lawsuit over transmission patent infringement by Eaton Corp

ArvinMeritor, Inc. has filed a lawsuit in Charlotte, N.C., Federal Court against Eaton Corp. for infringement over a transmission patent.

The patent covers an ArvinMeritor transmission automation technology, which was developed for the ArvinMeritor ESS transmission, a model that has been superceded by higher technology.

ArvinMeritor seeks an injunction to stop the sale of Eaton Transmission models UltraShift and AutoShift, which use this technology, as well as for damages for past infringement.

ArvinMeritor defeated Eaton last year in a patent lawsuit, claiming that the ESS infringed on an Eaton automatic transmission patent. Earlier this year, ArvinMeritor again defeated Eaton in its attempt in the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office to gain ownership of the same patent. The validity of the patent was upheld in that action.

"We now understand why Eaton has aggressively used the Patent and Trademark Office to obtain rights to an ArvinMeritor patent," said Tom Gosnell, president of ArvinMeritor's Commercial Vehicle Systems business group. "Our company has brought real innovation to heavy-duty truck transmissions. As a technology pioneer, we developed and brought the first affordable transmission automation system to customers. ESS was later followed by SureShift.

"This is an extremely broad patent. We believe that all of Eaton's automated manual transmissions infringe on it. While we welcome fair competition in the marketplace, we refuse to compete against our own patented technology advancements."

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