Harley-Davidson Sued for Patent Infringement

A lawsuit has been filed in Federal Court in Los Angeles against Harley-Davidson for infringement of a patent for providing multi-colored lighting for speedometers and tachometers. The suit was filed by inventor and patent attorney Frank Weyer, who successfully sued Ford under the same patent for using a multi-colored instrument lighting system in the 2005 Ford Mustang. The suit seeks damages and an injunction prohibiting Harley from selling any more of its combination peedometer and tachometer with "color matched lighting," a $499 option available for some 2007 model year Harleys. In the Ford lawsuit, Ford decided to take a patent license early in the litigation. Patent litigation is extremely expensive, especially if large law firms are involved. ‘Running rates’ of $50,000 to $100,000 a month or more are not at all uncommon. Although law firms like litigation and the attorneys’ fees that are generated, lawsuits are bottomless money pits. There are usually 2 opportunities to settle lawsuits: at the very beginning, and at the very end, just before trial. The smart choice, when faced with a meritorious complaint, is to settle early. Ford did it. It would probably be to Harley’s benefit to do the same.

5 Responses to “Harley-Davidson Sued for Patent Infringement”

  1. 1 Dan Apr 25th, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    Just goes to show how desperately the patent laws in this country need to be reformed… Wow… Talk about stupid patents that probably shouldn’t have been granted in the first place…custom car guys have been doing multi-colored instrumentation since the 60’s…

  2. 2 John Apr 27th, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    yep…. spot-on analysis of the patent lawsuit business- fundamentally flawed due to ridiculous capital barriers… Tho nice to see The Company catch some heat after trying to patent the sound of their engine- hehehhe….

  3. 3 dragon May 3rd, 2007 at 6:01 pm


  4. 4 Paul May 4th, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    Harley filed a sound mark (trademark) application with the USPTO -not a patent. You can’t patent a sound but you can get a trademark registration for anything that identifies the source of a good.

  5. 5 VTWINGRUMPY May 5th, 2007 at 6:36 pm

    how much will i have to pay this guy for putting colored bulbs in my ’93 ?

Comments are currently closed.
Cyril Huze