Mercedes-Benz S63 Cabriolet-45

Recently, Germany’s Federal Court of Justice ruled that Daimler has been infringing patent rights with the design of its neck-level heating system, known as Airscarf. As a result, Mercedes-Benz has been ordered to disable said system on all new and used cabriolet and roadster models in Germany.

Additionally, the company has been ordered to report how many cars have been delivered with the Airscarf system and pay unspecified damages. Affected models include the SLK/SLC, SL, SLS Roadster, C-Class Cabriolet, E-Class Cabriolet and S-Class Cabriolet. All advertising material related to the system will also have to be withdrawn.

For the those unfamiliar with Mercedes-Benz’s Airscarf, the system blows hot air through the seat headrest onto the necks of drivers and passengers, useful in cold climates. According to Automobilwoche, the system is specified in about two thirds of the convertible/roadster models sold in Germany.

Mercedes-Benz S63 Cabriolet-44

The company has been in a long-running patent dispute with patent owner Ludwig Schatzinger for years. According to Automotive News Europe, a spokeswoman for Mercedes-Benz said she was “astonished” by the verdict, given that parent company Daimler had won legal disputes over Airscarf in lower courts.

However, the ruling will only be temporary because the patent rights that the current Airscarf system’s design infringes on is set to run out on December 25, 2016. At that time, Mercedes-Benz will be allowed to reactivate the system on all its cars.