Italian automotive major the Piaggio Group has said that the Tribunal Judiciaire of Paris and the Court of Milan had found Peugeot Motocycles (now owned by Mahindra & Mahindra) guilty of infringing a European patent on the technology of the Piaggio MP3 three-wheeled scooter with the Peugeot Metropolis model.
Damages in France calculated at Rs 12 crore
Multiple restrictions and penalties in France and Italy
The patent in question is owned by the Piaggio Group whom the ruling is in favour of (still subject to appeal). The said patent is for the control system that enables a three-wheel vehicle to tilt sideways like a conventional motorcycle.
For the infringement, Peugeot Motocycles has been sentenced in France to pay damages calculated at €1,500,000 (Rs 12 crore), in addition to further penalties for infringement and legal expenses.
The ruling of the Paris court also prohibits Peugeot Motocycles on French territory from producing, promoting, marketing, importing, exporting, using and/or possessing any three-wheel scooter that uses the control system patented by the Piaggio Group (including the Peugeot Metropolis), on penalty of payment of a fine for every counterfeit vehicle.
Furthermore, the Court of Milan has prohibited Peugeot Motocycles on Italian territory from importing, exporting, marketing and advertising (offline and online) the Peugeot Metropolis, with a fine of €6,000 (Rs 4,96,000) for every vehicle sold after a term of 30 days from the announcement of the sentence. In addition, Peugeot Motocycles has also been asked to withdraw all counterfeit vehicles from sale in Italy within 90 days, on penalty of payment of an additional fine of €10,000 (Rs 8,26,000) for every day of delay in executing the order.
The Italian OEM says in a broader scenario with respect to the sentences, the Piaggio Group’s sizeable R&D investments have put it at the cutting edge of three-wheel vehicle technology, which has won the Piaggio MP3 a leadership position on the market.
The suits are part of a wider range of activities against counterfeiting pursued by the Piaggio Group for years, involving continuous monitoring of competitor products and of international patent databases.