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Battenfeld Extrusion wins Chinese piracy lawsuit; Adcuram cancels I/M division sale

It's been an eventful week for the Battenfeld machinery brand.


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January 7, 2008 by Canadian Plastics

It’s been an eventful week for the Battenfeld machinery brand.

On the extrusion side, Battenfeld Extrusion Systems Ltd. has just won a lawsuit against product piracy in China; on the injection molding side, the sale of Battenfeld Kunststoffmaschinen Gesellschaft m.b.H. announced by German private equity firm Adcuram shortly before Battenfeld filed for insolvency on January 3 has now been reversed.

Battenfeld Extrusion’s lawsuit began in September 2003, when Battenfeld China filed a suit before a Chinese court for product piracy against three Chinese competitors, which are all members of the Cosmos Group, one of the largest manufacturers of plastics processing machinery in China. A court in Dongguan has now ruled that the three companies accused, Donghua Machinery Ltd., Dongguan Cosmos Machinery Co. Ltd. and Dongguan Welltec Machinery Ltd., have unlawfully used confidential internal documents concerning the manufacture of PE pipe extrusion lines that are the property of Battenfeld China.

The court has ordered the Chinese competitors to destroy all illegal copies of drawings and other technical information and all copied PE pipe extrusion equipment manufactured on the basis of such documents still in production or already on the market. Production, sale and marketing of such products have now been prohibited, and a fine has also been imposed.

According to the court, the infringement of Battenfeld China’s intellectual property rights extends to the production of extruders and extrusion dies as well as downstream equipment such as vacuum tanks, haul-offs and saws.

The reversal of the sale of Battenfeld’s injection molding division, meanwhile, is the latest in a series of surprise moves. The filing for insolvency by Battenfeld’s injection molding division in early January had come on the heels of Adcuram’s sudden sale of the company to London-based OOD Private Equity on December 21, a sale described by a Battenfeld spokesperson at the time as “surprising and unexpected.”

According to Adcuram, the deal has now been canceled due to the “significant irritation that has been set off and doubts about the purchaser that has been thrown up,” and Battenfeld is once again under Adcuram’s ownership.