Mercedes has lost the rights to its Airscarf system after a patent infringement lawsuit found that Daimler had stolen the idea.
The Airscarf design, which blows warm air on convertible passenger’s necks from small vents in the bottom of the headrest, was originally patented in 1996 by German Ludwig Schatzinger. Mercedes still owns the rights to the name ‘Airscarf,’ but a German court ruling says that Mercedes must disable the Airscarf systems in vehicles built after May 9, 2016. The ruling also only applies to cars in Germany.
A fine of around $280,000 will be levelled at Mercedes if it doesn’t disable the system in those cars, while the mention of Airscarf must also be taken out of all advertising and promotional materials immediately. Schatzinger will also receive an unknown amount of money for a settlement.
SEE ALSO: 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupe Review
The lawsuit was not filed by Schatzinger, but rather by a patent agency. So far, the inventor of the system has not commented on the case.
On December 25, 2016, Schatzinger’s patent rights will expire and it is expected that Mercedes will be able to reactivate the system once again.
Discuss this story at our Mercedes-Benz Forum