Background: British Airways (BA) was the first to introduce a herringbone layout in 1996 with seats facing outwards. Virgin introduced an inward-facing herringbone layout, in which the seats faced the aisle of the aircraft.
The upper class of Virgin is the equivalent of first class and business class on other carriers. Virgin Atlantic holds a patent and design rights for the flatbed seating system in several countries, including the UK.
Claimant action: Britain-based Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd has filed a case in a UK court charging Jet Airways (India) Ltd with infringing its patent on flatbed seats arrangement so-called herringbone configuration.
Respondent action: Jet Airways (India) Ltd has moved towards a pre-grant opposition to a patent application filed at the Chennai patent office by Virgin Atlantic for the design and technology of the flatbed seat and the so-called herringbone configuration used in its upper class
1. Anna Knowles said “Any actions which Jet takes in India will have no impact on these UK actions.”
“Virgin had been granted patents in multiple jurisdictions and has a pending patent in India. “It has always been and will remain a key strategic objective of Virgin Atlantic to protect its intellectual property rights from misuse by third parties,”
2. Laxmi Kumaran(a patent lawyer and partner at New Delhi-based law firm Laxmi Kumaran and Associates ) said “My client has opposed Virgin Atlantic patent claims here, on the ground that this design and technology has been in the public domain since long, and it is not qualified for patent grant under the restrictive provision of prior art,” An early January hearing has been adjourned to February after Virgin sought more time to reply.
3.Shamnad Basheer said, “Since prior art is the ground for opposition, Virgin’s claims can be disqualified due to lack of novelty, and known obviousness.”
What will happen if patent granted to virgin
Jet airways have to reconfigure its first-class and business-class sections which will take at least three-four months. Jet Airways has 22 aircraft, comprising 10 Boeing 777s and 12 Airbus A330s, which use such seats, with eight first-class seats on the Boeings and at least 30 business-class seats in both the aircraft.
Source: live mint.com