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ArvinMeritor and ZF Win Court Decision on Transmission Patent Infringement Suit

TROY, Mich., Oct. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- ArvinMeritor, Inc (NYSE: ARM) ZF Friedrichshafen AG, and ZF Meritor, LLC announced today that they have won the patent infringement suit brought by Eaton Corp. on the ZF FreedomLine transmission. The suit was heard before a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and was initially filed on December 1, 2003.

The jury found that both technology patents at issue in the trial were invalid and therefore not enforceable against ArvinMeritor, Inc, ZF Friedrichshafen AG or ZF Meritor LLC on both current and future products.

"This is a significant milestone for ArvinMeritor and ZF's FreedomLine transmission product line and its superior technology, particularly since we've been confident the product didn't infringe from the beginning. We've remained focused on the quality and performance of the FreedomLine transmission during this entire time and are very pleased our position has been vindicated," said Carsten Reinhardt, president of ArvinMeritor's Commercial Vehicle Systems business.

"ZF takes great pride in its innovative products. This suit was an attempt by Eaton to limit the choice that truck manufacturers offer to end-users," said Rolf Lutz, group executive, Commercial Vehicle and Special Technology Division, ZF Friedrichshafen AG.

The FreedomLine transmission is one of the most advanced automated manual transmissions ever introduced in North America and was the first in the industry to feature a two-pedal design for use in the fleet market. The two-pedal design is significantly easier for the drivers to learn and use when compared to a traditional three-pedal system. The FreedomLine transmission provides a more comfortable experience for the driver, as well as fuel economy savings.

ZF is a leading worldwide supplier of driveline and chassis technology. Headquartered in Friedrichshafen, Germany, ZF is among the 15 largest automotive suppliers in the world. The company employs approximately 58,000 at 120 locations in 25 countries, and totaled sales of $17.3 billion in 2007.

ZF operates an extensive manufacturing network in North America, combined with global research and development capabilities, to provide advanced technology to the NAFTA region. The ZF Group North American Operations Headquarters and Technical Center is located in Northville, Mich., USA.

ArvinMeritor, Inc. is a premier global supplier of a broad range of integrated systems, modules and components to the motor vehicle industry. The company serves commercial truck, trailer and specialty original equipment manufacturers and certain aftermarkets, and light vehicle manufacturers. Headquartered in Troy, Mich., ArvinMeritor employs approximately 18,000 people in 24 countries. ArvinMeritor common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ARM.

SOURCE ArvinMeritor, Inc.

 
 
 
 
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