Daimler has lost a patent battle in Germany over the Airscarf headrest ventilation, thus being temporarily banned from selling models fitted with this system.
Mercedes is using the Airscarf technology since 1998, a system that is fitted within the backrest of front seats and blows cool or warm air to keep you as comfortable as possible while you are driving an open-top model, such as SLC, SL, SLS roadster, or the C-class and E-class cabriolets. However, the parent company Daimler has been engaged in an almost 10-year battle over the system with the patent owner Ludwig Schatzinger, who registered his invention back in 1996.
A German court recently ruled in his favour, thus Mercedes has been ordered to disable the Airscarf from all its new models sold through its dealership network around the country. A spokeswoman for Mercedes-Benz said she was “astonished” by the outcome, as the company had won legal disputes over Airscarf in lower courts. Furthermore, the three-pointed-star brand is forced to remove the system from all of its advertising and promotional materials and to pay Schatzinger unspecified compensation.
The good news for customers is that the patent rights expire on December 25 of this year, and Mercedes will be able to re-activate it afterwards. The models fitted with Airscarf units already sold are not affected by the court’s decision, which went into effect on 10 May, and it applies only in Germany.