Porsche, Karmman settle patent dispute

Stuttgart/Osnabrueck. A dispute between the sports car manufacturer Porsche and the bodywork specialist Karmann has been settled six years after it began.

Terms weren't disclosed.

The dispute, with more than 1 billion euros at stake, concerned the "Z-folding" of the cabriolet hood that Karmann developed in 1991 for the "Idea" prototype. This procedure has part of the hood fold over the material in such a way that the use of a tarp is not necessary. Porsche used the technology in 1996 for the Boxster without paying a licensing fee.

Ex-Karmann chief Rainer Thieme took the issue to the courts. But his successor, Bernd Lieberoth-Leden, has, since his appointment, been trying to reach a settlement.

That desire has been driven by hopes that Karmann would receive further orders from Porsche for its design engineering department.

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