Pratt & Whitney sues Rolls-Royce over 'misleading' patent

Pratt claims lawsuit Rolls-Royce's patent is invalid and aimed at harming Pratt & Whitney's business

Jet engine builder Pratt & Whitney has filed a lawsuit against British rival Rolls-Royce, accusing the company of "misleading" the US Patent and Trademark Office in its patent application for a new engine design.

The East Hartford-based subsidiary of United Technologies has stated in its lawsuit - filed in a Connecticut district court - that Rolls-Royce's patent was invalid and unenforceable and was aimed at harming Pratt & Whitney's business interests.

"Rolls-Royce has resorted to fraud and deceit to obtain a patent," said Pratt & Whitney in the lawsuit, which added that the company was attempting to use its patent to "wrongfully attack" the plaintiff.

The lawsuit is aimed at countering a patent-infringement case filed by Rolls-Royce in August wherein it alleged that the fan blade design in a geared turbofan of a Pratt & Whitney engine infringed the former's patents.