ODELZHAUSEN, Germany — W.E.T. Automotive Systems AG, a provider of thermal comfort for the automotive industry, has announced that its Canadian subsidiary W.E.T. Automotive Systems Ltd. has filed a lawsuit against Michigan-based Amerigon Inc. for alleged infringement of eight patents held by W.E.T. Automotive Systems.
The lawsuit, which seeks monetary damages, was filed in the United States District Court for the State of Michigan, Eastern District.
The W.E.T. patent portfolio in question includes patent numbers 6,786,541; 6,857,697; 7,131,689; 7,201,441; 7,425,034; 7,506,938; 6,509,704 and 6,841,957. A number of products, which Amerigon sells to various original equipment manufacturers, are the subject of the dispute. The patents relate to seating and blower technologies for providing passenger thermal comfort.
W.E.T. also is filing a response to Amerigon’s Nov. 17, 2009, patent infringement lawsuit filed against W.E.T. Automotive Systems Ltd. in the California court. In November, Amerigon sued W.E.T. alleging that W.E.T. has infringed and continues to infringe upon four patents owned or licensed by Amerigon. The Amerigon patents at issue, which relate to thermoelectric systems and technologies, includes United States Patent Nos. 4,923,248; 5,626,021; 7,587,901; and RE38,128, all of which were asserted in the lawsuit against W.E.T.
“For two years, there have been on-going discussions between our two companies involving Amerigon’s patent infringement violations of W.E.T.’s legal rights. We are disappointed that Amerigon did not take us up on our recent offer to resolve this dispute in mediation, and responded with litigation,” said Caspar Baumhauer, CEO of W.E.T. Automotive Systems AG. “W.E.T. will continue to meet the needs of the supply chain and our customers, with quality products and the highest standard in service and delivery.”
W.E.T. currently owns more than 300 patents and patent applications worldwide and has more than 150 inventions protected.
Amerigon has responded to the legal action filed this week by W.E.T. Automotive Systems AG. Amerigon President and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Coker, stated that Amerigon believes W.E.T.’s claims are without merit and appear to be a response to the patent infringement action filed by Amerigon against W.E.T. in November 2009.
Amerigon’s management and its legal team have reviewed the legal action filed by W.E.T. and said they believe that Amerigon’s technology and patents will be protected.
Coker commented, "Amerigon was a willing participant in early discussions to resolve the issues with W.E.T., but conversations reached an impasse, which forced us to seek resolution through the courts. We will continue to vigorously assert our intellectual property rights against W.E.T. and any others who we believe are making unlawful use of our intellectual property."
Amerigon currently holds or licenses 38 U.S. patents on thermoelectric systems and technologies.