U.S. District Court Rules in Favor of Crowell & Moring Client Bendix in Patent Protection Lawsuit
Permanent injunction imposed against Haldex Brake Products Corp.
ELYRIA, Ohio – Jan. 6, 2011: The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio confirmed and expanded upon a September jury verdict in favor of Crowell & Moring LLP client Bendix – Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC, and Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC – as well as the Munich-based Knorr-Bremse Group, in their air disc brake patent infringement lawsuit brought against Haldex Brake Products Corp. This week, the court imposed a permanent injunction against Haldex and rejected their request to continue ongoing sales of the infringing air disc brake product.
After a weeklong trial, the jury found that Haldex "willfully infringed" upon the Bendix and Knorr-Bremse U.S. patent rights to an improved air disc brake design used on tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles. Triple damages and attorney fees were also awarded to Bendix, recognized within the commercial vehicle industry as a strong advocate of intellectual property protection. The permanent injunction against Haldex prevents the company from selling air disc brake products in the U.S. that utilize the patent-protected technology. Bendix and Knorr- Bremse were represented in the action by Crowell & Moring LLP.
The patented Bendix® ADB22X™ air disc brake is a lightweight, air disc brake package offering longer brake life and fast and easy pad replacement, improving uptime for fleets. The brakes are designed at Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake headquarters in Elyria, Ohio, and manufactured at its state-of-the-art production facility in Bowling Green, Ky.
Bendix air disc brakes are proven to significantly reduce stopping distances for commercial vehicles; virtually eliminate brake fade with no degradation of stopping power; provide a passenger car-like feel; and permit straight, stable stops. Extensive field experience has validated the air disc brakes' superior performance advantages relative to stopping distance, pad and rotor life, and brake fade.
Bendix® ADB22X™ air disc brakes are used in a variety of applications including refuse, construction, heavy haul, and line haul. Additional applications outside of traditional tractor trailer usage includes motor homes, coach and school buses, fire and rescue service, and mining.
Sales of the Bendix ADB22X air disc brake have grown 120 percent over the past 12 months. As a result, the company is currently adding a new state-of-the-art production line to meet the increasing demand. "Compatible in a variety of combinations with North American tractor and trailer air drum foundation brakes, Bendix ADB22X air disc brakes are currently available as options at all six of the major truck OEMs, including Peterbilt®, Kenworth®, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), Mack®, Volvo®, and International," said Aaron Schwass, director for the foundation brake group at Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake. "With 20 million air disc brakes on vehicles in Europe and another 150,000 in North America, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake and Knorr-Bremse are the world's largest producer of air disc brakes. Every second of every day, well over 11,000 vehicle miles are driven with our air disc brakes. No other brake manufacturer can make that claim."
About The Knorr-Bremse Group
The Knorr-Bremse Group is the world's leading manufacturer of braking systems for rail and commercial vehicles. For more than 100 years, the company has pioneered the development, production, marketing, and servicing of state-of-the-art braking systems. Other lines of business in the rail vehicle systems sector include automatic, electro-pneumatic or electric door systems, air conditioning systems, control components and windscreen wiper systems, as well as platform screen doors. In the commercial vehicle systems sector, the product range includes complete braking systems with driver assistance systems, as well as torsional vibration dampers and powertrain-related solutions such as the Pneumatic Booster System (PBS) and transmission control system for enhanced energy efficiency and fuel economy. For more information, visit www.knorrbremse.com.
About Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC
Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC combines and expands the complementary wheel-end foundation brake technologies of two global leaders – Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC and Dana Commercial Vehicle Products, LLC. The joint venture, formed in July 2004, is a single, complete source for OEM brake system design, manufacturing, hardware, and support for all foundation brake components and actuation systems, as well as all-makes coverage of nearly 50,000 medium- and heavy-duty aftermarket parts. Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC is headquartered in Elyria, Ohio, with engineering operations in both Elyria and Kalamazoo, Mich., and a manufacturing facility in Bowling Green, Ky. For more information, call 1-866-610- 9709 or visit www.foundationbrakes.com. Follow BSFB on Twitter at twitter.com/Bendix_CVS.
About Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC
Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, a member of the Knorr-Bremse Group, develops and supplies leading-edge active safety technologies, air brake charging, and control systems and components under the Bendix® brand name for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, tractors, trailers, buses, and other commercial vehicles throughout North America. An industry pioneer, employing more than 2,000 people, Bendix is driven to deliver solutions for improved vehicle performance, safety, and overall operating cost. Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems is headquartered in Elyria, Ohio, with manufacturing plants in Acuña, Mexico; Bowling Green, Ky.; Huntington, Ind.; and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. For more information, call 1-800- AIR-BRAKE (1-800-247-2725) or visit www.bendix.com. Follow Bendix on Twitter at twitter.com/Bendix_CVS.
Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC
Marcus Thomas LLC
Crowell & Moring Notes: The Crowell & Moring attorney team that advised Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC and The Knorr-Bremse Group included Jeffrey D. Sanok, Mark Supko, Jennifer H. Burdman and William J. Sauers.