peugeot: Peugeot banned from selling three-wheeled scooters in France and Italy over patent problems

peugeot: Peugeot banned from selling three-wheeled scooters in France and Italy over patent problems

Mahindra & Mahindra-owned Peugeot Motorcycles has been banned from selling three-wheeled scooter Peugeot Metropolis in France and Italy.

Courts in Paris and Milan have also slapped penalties on the French company in a patent infringement case filed by Italian two-wheeler maker Piaggio Group.

The patent in question relates to the control system that enables a three-wheeled vehicle to tilt sideways like a conventional motorcycle.

This technology is used in the Piaggio MP3 scooter as well as Peugeot Metropolis.

Gautam Sen, an auto industry expert based out of Paris, said the infringement case was a surprise for him.

“The Peugeot

has been in production since 2013 and sold over 20,000 units,” he told ET. “For Piaggio to challenge it now is a bit strange. Unless there is some new development, more than what meets the eye.”

Several other two-wheeler makers including Yamaha and a host of Chinese makes, too, are using this technology and they are not facing such patent infringement issues, Sen said.

“Peugeot is the vanguard for advanced technology in scooters and motorcycles and they don’t really need to copy,” he said.

The new version of the Metropolis came in 2020.

Piaggio in a statement said it won European patent infringement suits against Peugeot Motorcycles in Paris and Milan.

Mahindra declined to comment on the queries sent by ET.

Peugeot Motorcycles is expected to appeal against both the rulings, experts said.

The Paris court in its ruling slapped damages of €1.5 million on Peugeot Motorcycles for patent infringement in addition to further penalties for every counterfeit vehicle and legal expenses.

The ruling also prohibits Peugeot Motorcycles from producing, promoting, marketing, importing, exporting, using and/or possessing any three-wheeler scooter that uses the control system patented by Piaggio Group on French territory, according to Piaggio statement.

The Milan court has prohibited Peugeot Motorcycles from importing, exporting, marketing and advertising (offline and online) the Peugeot Metropolis on Italian territory. A fine of €6,000 will be charged for every vehicle sold after a term of 30 days from the announcement of the sentence. Peugeot Motorcycles must also withdraw all counterfeit vehicles from sale in Italy within 90 days, or pay additional fine of €10,000 for every day of delay in executing the order, added the Piaggio statement.

If Peugeot Motorcycles loses its appeals against the verdicts, it will have to re-engineer the Metropolis maxi-scooter, experts said.

Meanwhile, Mahindra is not new to such infringement issues. In 2018, the US trade regulator said Mahindra Roxor off-road utility vehicle infringed on the design of Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep . In May this year,Mahindra was in a design infringement fracas in Australia with Stellantis, owner of Jeep and M&M Thar ‘s design which Fiat claims infringes on the design of Jeep Wrangler. Mahindra then said it has no plans to retail Thar in Australia in its current form.

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