Rolls-Royce files patent infringement complaint

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Rolls-Royce today filed an amended complaint alleging infringement by United Technologies Corporation (UTC) of the Rolls-Royce swept fan blade patent in the Federal Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in the United States. The complaint specifically alleges that the fan stages on the Engine Alliance GP7200 engine and on UTC’s PW1000G engine (also known as the Geared Turbofan) infringe the Rolls-Royce patent. The complaint also alleges that a number of other UTC aero civil engines infringe the Rolls-Royce patent. Rolls-Royce is seeking damages and injunctions.

It is expected that the case will be heard before a jury in the Eastern District of Virginia in the first half of 2011.

The origins of this case date back to the late 1990s. The dispute was initiated by UTC when it applied to the US Patent Office to have the Rolls-Royce swept fan blade patent struck out. UTC’s efforts were unsuccessful and the validity of the Rolls-Royce patent has been upheld in the United States.

  1. Rolls-Royce, a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, has established a strong position in global markets - civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy.
  2. As a result of this strategy, Rolls-Royce today has a broad customer base comprising more than 600 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces, more than 2,000 marine customers, including 70 navies, and energy customers in nearly 120 countries, with an installed base of 54,000 gas turbines.
  3. Rolls-Royce employs 39,000 skilled people in offices, manufacturing and service facilities in 50 countries. The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment, and to further developing employee skills.
  4. In 2009, Rolls-Royce invested £864 million on research and development, two thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental aspects of its products, in particular the reduction of emissions.
  5. Annual underlying revenues were £10.1 billion in 2009, of which about half came from services revenues. The firm and announced order book stood at £58.4 billion at 30 June 2010, providing visibility of future levels of activity.

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