US International Trade Commission gets involved in Rolls-Royce/Pratt & Whitney patent dispute

The US International Trade Commission announced it plans to investigate the patent complaint filed by Pratt & Whitney against Roll-Royce over the design of Trent 900 and Trent 1000. P&W are seeking an order preventing the import of the engines - which power the A380 and the upcoming B787 – into the US.

The investigation by the ITC is expected to take at least 15 months. Rolls-Royce has its own patent case underway in the UK against P&W.

Shares in Rolls-Royce were down 1.5%, amid a generally lower market. Other engine makers also dropped, with MTU Aero Engines and Safran both falling 1.7%. UTC, the parent of Pratt & Whitney, was down just 0.1%.

After strong trading earlier in the week, shares in EADS (-3.1%) and Embraer (-1.8%) fell sharply, despite Embraer announcing a new order for eight regional jets.

Boeing (-1.2%) and Bombardier (-0.9%) also fell. Bombardier confirmed an order for 15 Q400s from Indian carrier SpiceJet. Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO, Jim Albaugh, dealt another blow to any prospect of fitting new engines to the B737NG, stating that the manufacture cannot see a compelling reason to do so and believes most airlines will be willing to wait for a new aircraft.

Selected Original Equipment Manufacturers daily share price movements (% change): 09-Dec-2010

Selected Aviation Suppliers & Leasing daily share price movements (% change): 09-Dec-2010