Think back to 2021, if you can. In September of that year, Piaggio Group proudly announced that it had just won two patent infringement lawsuits against Peugeot Motocycles (remember, it's French, so no 'r' necessary). One case was in France, and the other was in Italy.

For those familiar with Peugeot automobiles, it's also worth noting at this point that they're completely separate companies.

In both cases, the courts found that Peugeot infringed upon the leaning mechanism patents for the Piaggio MP3. Plenty have remarked upon the striking similarities in design between the Peugeot Metropolis three-wheeler and the Piaggio MP3, and the courts of two countries seemingly substantiated those claims.

But litigation is litigation, and somewhat like a neverending and very expensive game of Uno, Peugeot went on to appeal the ruling in Italy, clearly hoping for a Reverse. The Milan Court of Appeal went on to find in Piaggio's favor, and Peugeot appealed once more.

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Fast-forward to June 2024, and Italy's Supreme Court of Appeals (Corte di Cassazione) has outright dismissed Peugeot's latest appeal. With that dismissal, the decision reverts back to whatever the previous court decided. In this case, the previous ruling of the Milan Court of Appeal will be upheld.

What does this mean for Peugeot? As it stands, Peugeot Motocycles Italia now owes Piaggio damages in the amount of more than 1 million Euros. For those who are quickly doing the math and adding up the numbers on the American side of the pond, that's more than $1,087,050 USD.

And although it's probably easier for companies the size of Piaggio and Peugeot to throw around numbers like that than it is for you or I, that's still not an insignificant amount of money. 

As you may or may not recall, Peugeot Motocycles was owned by the Mahindra Group when this situation first began, which made it part of a much larger family of companies based in India.

However, in 2023, Mahindra closed a deal with private equity firm Mutares that saw the latter firm gain 50 percent equity and an 80 percent controlling stake in Peugeot Motocycles. At the time of its acquisition, Mutares said that Peugeot Motocycles generated approximately €140 million annually.

It's unclear what effect the ongoing litigation has had on Peugeot Motocycles' profitability in the intervening years, nor what will happen next. We'll be sure to report any new information that comes to light.

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