Daimler has lost a court battle regarding a patent dispute in Germany and can no longer sell convertibles with the AIRSCARF seat ventilation system.
Following a lengthy legal process that spanned almost a decade, a German court has ruled Daimler has been infringing patent rights with the design of its neck-level heating system. The ruling went into effect on Tuesday after patent owner Ludwig Schatzinger won the legal battle with Daimler.
As a consequence of this decision, Mercedes’ convertibles can no longer be sold in Germany with the AIRSCARF system. In addition, Daimler will also have to report the number of open-top models with this feature that have been sold and will be forced to pay damages. According to Automobilwoche, about two thirds of the Mercedes convertibles sold in Germany have this equipment, so Daimler is likely facing a sizeable bill.
Not only that, but Mercedes will also have to disable the AIRSCARF system on all unsold new and used cars in Germany and will have to withdraw all local advertisements related to the neck-level heating system.
“Astonished” was the word used by a Mercedes spokeswoman to describe the verdict which must have been quite a shock for the company after winning the previous legal battles in inferior courts.
The silver lining for Daimler is that on December 25 this year the patent rights infringed will expire, thus allowing Mercedes to sell AIRSCARF-equipped cars in its domestic market once again.