BorgWarner sues Cummins over three patents for titanium turbochargers

Article by Christian A., on October 28, 2011

A patent infringement suit has been filed by BorgWarner Inc. against Cummins Inc., which is being accused of violating three patents on a titanium wheel used in engine turbochargers. According to the complaint filed last Wednesday in federal court in Asheville, N.C., Cummins is using the inventions "with reckless disregard" of BorgWarner's rights. The compressor wheels at issue in the case direct air to an engine's intake manifold.

Turbochargers improve the power and efficiency of smaller engines. This is particularly significant now since governments are pressuring automakers to raise the fuel economy of their vehicles.

Last July, BorgWarner said that its second-quarter profit nearly doubled, partly the result of the higher sales of turbochargers. BorgWarner had raised its forecast for revenue and profit for this year due to the rising sales.

BorgWarner had a similar suit against Honeywell International Inc. but the case has already been settled in May for $32.5 million. Cummins said last Tuesday that sales in its components unit (including the turbochargers) increased by 32% to $1.02 billion.

Based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, BorgWarner Inc. is a leading global supplier of components and parts for the automotive industry. The company operates through two major segments. The Engine Group develops and manufactures products, including but are not limited to turbochargers, emissions systems, timing devices and chain products, thermal systems, cabin heaters as well as diesel cold start and gasoline ignition technology.

The Drivetrain Group, meanwhile, develops and manufactures clutching and control systems, including but are not limited to transmission components and systems, and all-wheel drive torque management systems.

The original Borg-Warner Corporation was established in 1928 with the merger of Warner Gear, Borg & Beck, Marvel Schelber Carburetor Co. and the Mechanics Universal Joint Co. Warner Gear founded by Thomas Warner in 1901 while Borg & Beck was established by Charles Borg and Marshall Beck in 1903. Marvel Schelber Carburetor Co. was set up by George Schebler in 1905. The current BorgWarner Inc. is a Delaware corporation that was incorporated in 1987.

Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, Cummins Inc. is a global automotive supplier that designs, manufactures, distributes and services diesel and natural gas engines, electric power generation systems as wel as engine-related component products. It products also include filtration, exhaust after-treatment, fuel systems, controls as well as air handling systems.

The company boasts of a network of more than 600 company-owned and independent distributor locations as well as more than 6,000 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories. Cummins operate in four segments: Engine, Power Generation, Components and Distribution.

Cummins Inc. was established in 1919 as a corporation in Columbus, Indiana. It is considered as one of the first makers of diesel engine.

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