In a landmark legal case, brake caliper manufacturer AP Racing has been awarded £570,660 in damages, costs and interest following a ruling that rival firm Alcon Components Limited infringed the company’s patent protecting a concept for motorsport brake calipers.
As the highest ever level of damages awarded in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, the case centred on a range of brake calipers introduced and patented in 2007. This design was used by teams in Formula 3, NASCAR and subsequently Formula 1. However, rival Alcon Components introduced a similar design in 2009.
Following an initial trial in 2012, and a subsequent hearing in the Court of Appeal in 2013, a ruling was made in January 2014 confirming that the patent was valid and infringed, allowing the UK based company to pursue financial compensation and stop Alcon manufacturing more of the calipers.
Commenting on the award AP Racing managing director, Charles Bolton, said: ‘Innovation is vital for the development of new technology, and patent infringement is always an uncompetitive answer. The Court’s decision sends a clear message to the industry that the courts will not tolerate intellectual property infringement’.