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Battenfeld-Cincinnati wins IP lawsuit against Chinese manufacturer

After seven years of litigation, a Chinese appeals court has ruled in favour of Battenfeld-Cincinnati Extrusion Systems Ltd. in the company's intellectual property rights fight against competitor Donghua Machinery.


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March 20, 2011 by Canadian Plastics

After seven years of litigation, a Chinese appeals court has ruled in favour of Battenfeld-Cincinnati Extrusion Systems Ltd. in the company’s intellectual property rights fight against competitor Donghua Machinery.

The verdict, reached in 2010 but only announced by Battenfeld in a March 17 news release, related to a charge of product piracy concerning Battenfeld’s complete PO 450 pipe extrusion line which includes a single screw extruder, extrusion die and downstream equipment.

The court in Dongguan, China established in a 2007 ruling that Donghua Machinery had unlawfully used confidential documents detailing the manufacture of PO pipe extrusion lines that are the property of Battenfeld-Cincinnati, and ordered Donghua Machinery to destroy illegally obtained copies of drawings, technical information, and all PO 450 pipe extrusion equipment manufactured on the basis of these documents. Donghua Machinery appealed to Guangdong Higher People’s Court, arguing that the PO pipe extrusion technology claimed as intellectual property by Battenfeld was actually public domain and could be obtained by reverse engineering after the products’ launch on the market.

The appeals court turned down the appeal in 2010, ruling that Battenfeld’s technical information was unique and had never been released to the public.

Donghua has been ordered to pay a fine of CNY500,000 (approximately Cdn$75,000).

“This case shows that it is worth fighting for one’s rights, especially concerning intellectual property that has been developed for years with high effort”, said Jürgen Arnold, CEO of the Vienna, Austria-based Battenfeld-Cincinnati group of companies. “It has always been one of our core competences to develop leading technologies providing unique solutions for our customers and we will continue to defend our intellectual property rights all over the world.”