Mumbai: India’s second largest two-wheeler maker by sales, Bajaj Auto Ltd, may now have to fight a patent battle overseas.
S. Ravikumar, vice-president of business development at Bajaj Auto, said the firm has won a patent for its multi-spring shock absorber system in Nigeria and 16 other markets that are part of the African Intellectual Property Organization but is yet to receive the patent certificate.
Bajaj Auto had earlier said some China-made bikes sold under the brands Nexus and Nebula in Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda had copied its design.
The company won a patent for the design in India on 1 May. Protecting its patent in Nigeria will be crucial as the African country is Bajaj Auto’s largest export market for bikes.
Offenders in Kenya and Uganda may get away now as Bajaj Auto has not received patents for these markets.
This is not the first time a Bajaj Auto design has been copied by a Chinese manufacturer. A few years ago, there was a copy of the Bajaj Pulsar that was branded as Gulsar. Bajaj Auto had managed to stop sales in Sri Lanka after filing a court petition.
Taking precautions to protect its patents will be extremely important for Bajaj Auto as it is planning to launch a new bike brand that will be assembled in China. The new bike will initially be sold in markets such as Nigeria.