ArvinMerior, ZF to defend against patent infringement claims

ArvinMeritor and ZF said Dec. 15 they are committed to a vigorous defense against the legal actions launched by Eaton in connection with the ZF Meritor FreedomLine truck transmission.

Eaton filed a federal lawsuit Dec. 2 against ArvinMeritor, ZF Friedrichshafen AG and ZF Merior, saying the FreedomLine transmission system infringes on Eaton’s patent rights. Eaton also filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Wolfgang Vogel, executive vice president of commercial vehicle and special driveline technology for ZF Friedrichshafen AG, said the company stands by its technology and is confident it will prevail.

Eaton asked the United States District Court in Detroit to enter a permanent injunction prohibiting the sale of FreedomLine transmissions in the United States, and requested an award of damages. Eaton also asked ITC to issue an exclusion order prohibiting importation of FreedomLine transmission systems and components, as well as a cease-and-desist order halting the sale of those imported products.

The FreedomLine is an automated manual transmission that features a “no clutch pedal,” which ZF Meritor says makes it easier to learn and operate than three-pedal automated systems.