The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) here on Thursday dismissed an application of LML (Lohia Machines Ltd), seeking to revoke patent granted to Bajaj Auto Ltd. in respect of an improved two-stroke engine for its two-wheelers.
The Board comprising its chairman Justice Prabha Sridevan and member D.P.S. Parmar held that “LML has not made out a case for the revocation of Bajaj’s patent.”
During 1990s, manufacturers such as Bajaj, LML and Piaggio were producing two-stroke scooters with monocoque chassis and engine positioned on one side of the vehicle. Since it was a big challenge to manufacturers to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emission from scooters, Bajaj developed an invention to mitigate such disadvantages.
Bajaj Auto obtained patent for an improved intake system for two-stroke engines used in two-wheelers having a monocoque chassis where engine and transmission were disposed substantially on one side of the said vehicle. Another aspect of the patent was a reed valve adopted and positioned between the carburetor housing and crankcase.
On April 12, 2004, LML, a competitor in the field, received a ‘cease and desist’ notice from Bajaj. Hence, the LML filed the present application for revocation of Bajaj’s patent.
LML contended that there was no novelty in the invention of Bajaj. The carburetor, the carburetor housing, reed valves the crankcase and the crankshaft, or the air filter, were conventional features of all two-stroke internal combustion engines.
Bajaj claimed that the patent was an improved intake system employed in an internal combustion engine working on 2-stroke principle wherein engine was mounted on a monocoque (not tubular) chassis of a scooter.
Convinced over the argument put forth by counsel for Bajaj, the IPAB said, “ The impugned claim relates to combination of several parts and not any individual part. Accordingly, this cannot be described as mere arrangement and rearrangement.”