Pratt & Whitney today filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court in Connecticut against Rolls-Royce, claiming that UK-based engine maker misled the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to obtain a patent related to swept fan blades. The complaint follows a lawsuit filed on August 26 by Rolls-Royce against Pratt & Whitney parent United Technologies alleging that designs of certain fan stages in the PurePower PW1000G, the Engine Alliance GP7200 and “a number of other UTC engines” infringe the Rolls-Royce patent.
“Pratt & Whitney’s position is that Rolls-Royce has engaged in unfair behavior to mislead the United States Patent & Trademark Office to obtain a patent that it now alleges Pratt & Whitney infringes,” said Pratt & Whitney chief intellectual property counsel George Romanik.
“We do not infringe Rolls-Royce’s patent. Additionally, we believe the Rolls-Royce patent is invalid and unenforceable and that Rolls-Royce is unlawfully using its patent and taking other actions in an attempt to harm Pratt & Whitney.”
As the litigation proceeds, Pratt & Whitney will continue to market its PurePower engine family, formerly known as the Geared Turbofan. “We are confident that the lawsuit filed by Rolls-Royce will have no impact to our customers on any program at Pratt & Whitney, including the GP7200 engine and the entire PurePower family of engines,” said Pratt & Whitney next generation product family vice president Bob Saia. “The program has met all milestones on time and we expect it will continue to be on schedule, regardless of Rolls-Royce's actions. We are disappointed that Rolls-Royce chose to file a lawsuit rather than to compete in the marketplace."