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Litens Announces Update on Smartsprocket® Patent


SUZHOU, China, Nov. 05, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Litens Automotive Group is the proprietor of patented Smartsprocket® automotive timing drive components and systems. The Smartsprocket® technology enhances timing drive systems by counteracting camshaft torque pulses, resulting in reduced torsional vibration, reduced camshaft timing error and improved belt life. The technology has been utilized in
dozens of engine platforms around the world.

Litens filed a patent infringement suit in the Suzhou Intermediate People’s Court for patent infringement of the Smartprocket® technology against Gates Unitta Transmission System (Shanghai Co., Ltd and Chery Automobile Co., Ltd. Litens lost the first instance and appealed to the Jiangsu Higher People’s Court. The high court recently ruled in favour of Litens, awarding Litens compensation for patent infringement of 34.3 RMB per infringing timing drive, resulting in a total award of 10,644,033 RMB including attorney fees. Mr. Alex Porat, VP General Counsel of Litens Automotive Group stated that “Litens is pleased with the high court’s decision, particularly with the court’s rejection of Gates’ defense that it did not infringe because it developed its product based on ‘trial and error’ as opposed to following the teachings of the specification.” Mr. Porat further commented that “the damages awarded demonstrate the value of the technology.”

Many attempts have been made by Gates and others to invalidate Smartsprocket® patents before European, German and Chinese authorities. Litens has successfully defended the Smartsprocket® patents in all instances, resulting in no changes to the originally granted claims. The validity decisions are listed below:

2018 May 29 – German Federal Supreme Court – case no. X ZR 51/16
2016 Feb 02 – German Federal Patent Court – case no. 4 Ni 29/14 (EP)
2013 May 29 – China Patent Reexamination Board – case no. 20785
2012 Oct 02 – EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal – case no. R 19/11
2011 Dec 18 – Beijing First Intermediate People’s Court – case no. (2011-1801)
2011 July 07 – EPO Technical Board of Appeal – case no. T 0248/10-3208
2011 Jan 20 – China Patent Reexamination Board – case no. 15956
2009 Nov 25 – EPO Opposition Division – European patent no. 1448916

Litens has devoted a great deal of time, money and effort to researching and developing innovative automotive technology. Its innovations are adopted by automotive manufacturers around the world and the company has been awarded patents by various countries. Mr. Porat stated that “in view of the Smartsprocket® litigation history, there should be no doubt that Litens will vigorously defend its intellectualproperty rights and actively pursue violators”.

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