SPX Corp. is suing Bartec USA L.L.C. over an alleged patent infringement of a handheld remote tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) tool.
The suit, filed Oct. 30 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, alleges that an unspecified Bartec remote TPMS tool infringes on SPX's patent for its T.I.P.S. (Tire Inflation Positioning Switch) Tool used in the aftermarket to reprogram TPMS sensor positions. When TPMS-equipped wheels are repositioned on a vehicle, the service technician needs to reprogram the TPMS control modules with the new sensor positions.
The T.I.P.S. tool is marketed as a ``universal'' tool capable of triggering the magnetic and electronic sensor protocols of various original equipment manufacturers.
The tool was patented originally by Spectrum Composites Inc. of Auburn Hills, Mich., in 2005. SPX bought the technology and intellectual property, including the patent, from Spectrum earlier this year, an SPX spokesman said.
A spokesman for Sterling Heights, Mich.-based Bartec declined to comment on the lawsuit other than to say, ``We're working on our strategy as we speak.'' Bartec is a subsidiary of Barnsley, England-based Bartec Auto ID Ltd., which describes itself as ``the leader in tire pressure monitoring tools and tire pressure monitoring systems for auto dealers, manufacturers and the aftermarket.''
SPX seeks unspecified damages for alleged ``irreparable injury'' from Bartec's manufacture, marketing and selling of its TPMS tool that is the subject of the alleged patent infringement. No trial date has been set.