ArvinMeritor, ZF tout win in patent infringement suit

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ArvinMeritor, ZF Friedrichshafen AG (ZF) and ZF Meritor said Oct. 17 that they had won a jury verdict on the patent infringement suit brought by Eaton Corp. against the ZF FreedomLine automated transmission. Eaton had filed the lawsuit almost five years ago in a Michigan federal court.

The companies said the jury found that both technology patents at issue in the trial were invalid and therefore not enforceable against ArvinMeritor, ZF or ZF Meritor on both current and future products.

ArvinMeritor has been confident from the beginning that ZF Meritor’s FreedomLine transmission did not infringe on any Eaton patent, said Carsten Reinhardt, president of Commercial Vehicle Systems business for ArvinMeritor. “We’ve remained focused on the quality and performance of the FreedomLine transmission during this entire time and are very pleased our position has been vindicated.”

A spokesman for Eaton said the company is disappointed in the result and is exploring all options, including an appeal to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.