Peugeot Motorcycles, owned by Mahindra, faces fines in Italy and France for patent litigation with Piaggio Group
Chennai: In its ongoing patent litigation with the Piaggio Group, Peugeot Motorcycles, which is owned by Mahindra & Mahindra, suffered a setback with courts in Paris and Milan convicting it and handing it heavy fines. The dispute over a particular feature of Peugeot Motorcycle’s popular Metropolis three-wheeled scooter, which Piaggio claims infringes its patent rights, has now been fined 1.5 million euros (nearly 13 crore rupees ) from the French judicial court in Paris, which also banned the production, export, import or marketing of the three-wheeled scooter in France as long as it uses Piaggio’s patented technology.
The Italian court in Milan also handed down similar sanctions prohibiting Peugeot Motorcycles from importing, exporting, selling or marketing the Peugeot Metropolis scooter throughout Italy. The Italian court also imposed a fine of 6,000 euros (just over Rs 5 lakh) on Peugeot Motorcycles for each Metropolis unit sold one month after the conviction. In addition, if the vehicles are not taken back within 3 months of the conviction, the company will face a fine of 10,000 euros (Rs 8.6 lakh) per day.
When contacted, M&M did not comment on this matter.
The Mahindra group inherited the pending patent litigation when it bought Peugeot Motorcycles from the Peugeot group. According to sources, there were several pending cases between Piaggio and Peugeot Motorcycles and all but one have now been settled. These current court orders will severely affect Metropolis sales given that France and Italy are its major markets.
The Mahindra Group faced legal issues in global markets earlier this year when Fiat Chrysler moved Australia’s federal court over the appearance of the Mahindra Thar which it said violated the design of its own Jeep. Wrangler. The Australian dispute came just 5 months after M&M won a lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler in the United States in a long-running dispute over the Jeep Trade Dress and Mahindra’s 2021 Roxor all-terrain vehicle.