TVS Motor Company's two-stroke engine patent application gets rejected

TVS Motor Company, maker of two-wheelers and three-wheelers, has had its application rejected for a patent on a new two-stroke internal combustion engine. 


It had claimed this would pollute less, with better fuel efficiency. However, the application has been rejected by the Indian Patent Office.


The original application, from TVS and the Indian Institute of Science, explained that conventional two-stroke engines pollute more and have a fuel economy problem. So manufacturers had phased these out, some years earlier. TVS said its invention was designed to address these. Various provisions in the new engine, including a filter element, facilititated lower pollutants in exhaust emission from the engine, thus reducing the emission of pollutants from the engine.


The patent office’s objection was that a skilled person could get to the said invention by combining of knowledge and existing inventions. Thus, the TVS application did not constitute an invention as defined under the rule.


A final hearing on the application was held on September 13, on further objections raised by the patent office. Among these were that certain claims, even after being amended, were lacking in the relevant parameters, some details were not disclosed and there was some inconsistency between claims. The company addressed these objections and argued for patent protection.


However, the patent office, Delhi, decided the application did not comply with the relevant requirements.


The decision comes as there is speculation that the government of Karnataka could ban two-stroke three-wheelers from end-April 2020. The central government is currently pushing automobile manufacturers to move to more environmental-friendly automobiles, such as electric vehicles, to reduce emission levels across the country.