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HC lifts ban on TVS Flame sales

December 21, 2007 01:52 IST
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A division bench of the Madras high court on Thursday suspended the interim order restraining TVS Motor from booking or selling its recently launched 125cc bike, Flame.

After hearing the arguments of both parties for about two hours on Thursday, the bench suspended the interim order of the single judge and posted the case to January 4-5, 2008, for further hearing.

The interim order was passed on Wednesday by the single-judge bench of Justice R Bhanumathi, directing TVS Motor to stop bookings and sales of its new 125cc bike Flame following a patent infringement suit filed by Bajaj Auto, which claims that TVS had infringed its so-called digital twin spark ignition (DTSi) technology for its Flame motorcycle.

TVS Motor appealed against the interim order on Thursday and the matter came up for hearing before a divisional bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice V Ramasubramanian. Senior counsels C S Sundaram and R Krishnamurthy argued on behalf of Bajaj Auto, while A L Somayaji and P S Raman were senior counsels for TVS Bajaj.

The legal battle between the two companies started a few months ago with TVS filing a suit under the Indian Patents Act in the Madras high court to counter Bajaj's claims on patent infringement. However, TVS responded that the Flame was fitted with a three-valve engine based on CCVTi (controlled combustion variable timing intelligent) technology, which is different from the technology used by Bajaj Auto.

Meanwhile, TVS Motor launched its new 125cc motorcycle Flame in Chennai on December 13, stating that no law was being infringed by the launch.

After the national rollout, TVS hopes to sell around 20,000 units of Flame from February. Bajaj's competing product in this segment launched earlier this year, Bajaj XCD, is currently managing retail volumes of 40,000 units a month.

Bajaj Auto filed a patent infringement suit a few days ago seeking to maintain the status quo and restraining TVS from booking and selling Flame motorcycles till the first week of January.

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