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Volkswagen faces patent infringement suit

Written by Laura Cannon- Solent University student on 21 February 2019

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On Monday 18th February a complaint was filed at the US district court for the eastern district of Michigan southern district by automotive company Michigan Motor Technologies. The suit was filed against the well known German automaker Volkswagen which is notoriously known for other scandals such as the emission scandal in 2015.

Michigan Motor Technologies alleges Volkswagen infringed 20 of its patents. This is not the first time such allegations of this nature have been made. 3 months before this another claim was filed by US based semiconductor company, Broadcom, who accused the German automaker of infringing 18 of its patents. The patents cover Broadcom semiconductors which Volkswagen allegedly uses for its navigation and entertainment system in some cars. Broadcom was reportedly seeking $1billion from Volkswagen before the companies struck a deal last November ending the suit.

In the latest dispute Michigan motor said Volkswagen had knowingly infringed its patents by using patented technology and methods in the engines of its cars. Some of the Volkswagen owned car brands named in the suit are Audi, VW golf and Porsche. The complaint said Volkswagen’s acts of infringement were with “specific intent or with wilful blindness” as a result of the Michigan company sending Volkswagen a letter in 2015 informing them of the patents. It is said despite this Volkswagen continued selling and importing components into the US which would later be used in car parts which infringed Michigan Motors patents.

So far no statement has been released by Volkswagen following these recent allegations, it will however be interesting to see whether yet again a deal will be made or whether this suit will continue.

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