ELYRIA, Ohio — The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio has confirmed and expanded upon a September jury verdict in favor of Bendix–Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC and Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC as well as the Munich-based Knorr-Bremse Group in the companies’ air disc brake patent infringement lawsuit brought against Haldex Brake Products Corp.
The court imposed a permanent injunction against Haldex and rejected that company’s 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, Bendix officials said in a news release.
The brakes are designed at Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake headquarters in Elyria, Ohio, and manufactured at its 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, according to Aaron Schwass, director for the foundation brake group at Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake, who noted that extensive field experience had 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.
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 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,” Schwass said. “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.”
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