Honeywell to pay $32.5 million to BorgWarner to end patent suit

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 16, 2011

The patent infringement lawsuit filed by BorgWarner Inc. against Honeywell International Inc. over a titanium wheel featured in engine turbochargers has been resolved with a $32.5 million settlement. In a statement, Honeywell said that this settlement is far less than what BorgWarner had been aiming to get (at more than $100 million).

This settlement would also give Honeywell a license to these patents. The trial for the complaint that BorgWarner filed in 2007 had been set to start earlier this week in a federal court in Asheville, N.C. Honeywell referred to this settlement as the “best solution for Honeywell and its customers.”

As governments aim to impose more stringent fuel-economy standards, automakers seek to increasingly use turbochargers. These devices compress air to boost the smaller engines’ power and efficiency. Last March, Honeywell said that it anticipates that by 2015, use of the turbochargers in new U.S. vehicles will double.

The dispute between Honeywell and BorgWarner is related to a lighter, titanium compressor wheel that pushes air to the engine's intake manifold.

BorgWarner has inventions that relate to a cost-effective cast titanium compressor wheel, the wheel’s design, and a method to make turbochargers with the titanium wheel. Last March, Honeywell said that turbochargers will be used by around 20% of engines produced in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, compared to an estimated 9% for 2011.

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