Remember Blacksmith? This is the same e-motorcycle maker who has had a gestation period of more than 17 years and is yet to introduce its first product in India. We've carried extensive details on who this company is and what they have been doing so far. Production as well as roll-out of its models may be a secondary concern for the Chennai-based start-up. The bigger worry is infringement of its patents that it has been in possession right from 2006. Lately, one of its founders has filed a patent infringement case on Ashok Leyland and Sun Mobility. This case is related to the battery swapping technology which Sun and Ashok Leyland have developed and will be used in future e-buses and other vehicles.
Blacksmith's technical director cum inventor,Arumugam Rajendra Babu, who has filed the case, says that the company has a patent (262461) on swappable batteries. This, Sun Mobility as well as Ashok Leyland had advertised and are selling mass electric mobility solutions through “QUICK INTERCHANGE STATION” and “SMART BATTERY” for automobiles. Babu states that the cited electric mobility solutions for automobiles incorporates predominant substantive essential features of his patent 262461, which are being promoted by Sun and Ashok Leyland as their proprietary technology. Babu further says that he had demonstrated this tech at various auto shows as well as on Vasanth TV and Thanthi TV.
A legal notice was sent to both the aforementioned partners on January 9, 2019. During this period, Sun responded to the legal notice that their product wasn't an electrical vehicle. ExpressDrives emailed Sun Mobility and their response was, "SUN Mobility holds several patents for its battery swapping solution to provide energy infrastructure to electric vehicles ranging from 2/3-wheelers to buses. We are unable to provide further details on this, as the matter is sub-judice."
All in all, Babu according to the patent number cited clearly holds the upmanship in this case. Moreover, other electric companies which claim to have introduced swappable batteries in their products too might be put on notice. The case is in the hearing in Chennai high court. At this moment, it is unclear in whose favour the verdict will go. However, we wish that truth prevails.