ArvinMeritor has announced that the U.S. Patent Board of Appeals and Patent Interferences has issued judgment in ArvinMeritor's favour against Eaton Corporation on all claims in two related transmission patent interferences. An 'interference' is a court-like proceeding in the Patent Office to determine who was first to make an invention. Under U.S. law, the first to invent is deemed the owner of the patent. The decision was rendered on April 29, 2004.

"This is another significant legal victory for ArvinMeritor and our second successful defense against Eaton's legal assaults on our transmission business," said Tom Gosnell, president of ArvinMeritor's Commercial Vehicle Systems business group. "Eaton's unsuccessful effort to seize our torque prediction patent further validates our position as the technology leader in this product. As we've said repeatedly, we'll continue to aggressively defend all of our product technology."

The interferences involved an ArvinMeritor U.S. patent on torque prediction technology. Torque prediction is an enabling technology for some automated transmissions.

In a related matter, last December, ArvinMeritor and ZF Friedrichshafen AG announced they were committed to a vigorous defense against the legal actions launched by Eaton, in connection with the FreedomLine automated manual heavy truck transmission.