Former Bugatti And Bentley CEO Suing Volkswagen For Patent Royalties
Wolfgang Schreiber wants to be compensated for his role in the development of Volskwagen’s DSG, dual-clutch transmissionby Kirby Garlitos, on
Former Bugatti and Bentley CEO Wolfgang Schreiber is laying the smackdown on his former employer in the form of a lawsuit that claims that the Volkswagen Group owes him hundreds of millions of dollars in royalty fees for his contributions in developing the company’s DSG, dual-clutch transmission.
German auto magazine Der Spiegel reported that Schreiber turned down a $22 million compensation for his role in the creation of the ground-breaking gearbox and was looking to get compensation that merited his contributions. The former executive believes that he’s entitled to a nine-figure amount due to the belief that he was one of the most influential people who helped push the DSG transmission to the market. Considering that he is named in a number of patents for the technology and is even credited as an inventor in some patents gives him a pretty compelling argument.
A spokesperson for Volkswagen refused to comment on the details of the lawsuit because it is still ongoing and has yet to be resolved. However, the spokesperson did confirm to Automotive News that Schreiber had “formally demanded” compensation from the German auto giant.
The Schreiber lawsuit is another high-profile case that the Volkswagen Group has to deal with and the former CEO’s claims that he is owed well into the nine figures is another potentially major blow to a company that’s still reeling from an emissions scandal that has cost it an amount that makes Schreiber’s sought after compensation look like a drop in the bucket by comparison.
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Does Wolfgang Schreiber have a case?
Legal issues are tricky to comment on because of the sensitive nature that’s usually attached to them. Make no mistake, Wolfgang Schreiber’s lawsuit against the Volkswagen Group is a big one, not only because of the amount he’s looking for – well into the nine figures – but because it comes from a man who spent 30 years with the company from 1984 to 2014.
Schreiber rose to prominence within the VW when he headed the transmission development from 1996 to 2003. That’s when the DSG transmissions went from concept to production and in the years since, it has been used in close to four million vehicles, ranging from small cars to supercars under Skoda, Seat, Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, and even Bugatti. Him being included in the patents and named as an inventor in some of them is another huge argument on his side.
It’s still unclear how Volkswagen plans to proceed with this lawsuit, but considering Schreiber’s contributions to the company – he pushed the Bugatti Veyron to production and played a huge role in the development of the Bentley Bentayga, among others – it’s safe to say that the former chief of Bugatti and Bentley has done a lot for the Volkswagen Group during his time with the company.
Source: Der Spiegel