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Milacron answers milk jug technology lawsuit filed by Mid-America Machining


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July 18, 2015 by Canadian Plastics

Machinery maker Milacron LLC has answered a patent infringement lawsuit that was filed against Milacron Plastics Technologies in June 2015 by blow mold equipment supplier Mid-America Machining Inc.

In the suit filed by Brooklyn, Mich.-based Mid-America on June 15 in U.S. District Court in Detroit, Mid-America alleged that Milacron was infringing on patents to make lightweight milk jugs.

In a July 15 news release, Cincinnati, Ohio-based Milacron responded, stating that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a notice that a new Uniloy lightweight container design was allowed for issuance as a patent.

“Our products are based on proprietary technology. And when it comes to the end product, typically containers, we have the capability to provide product design assistance to our customers or, as in this case, develop our own proprietary designs that we openly license to our customers,” Dave Skala, group vice president of Uniloy Milacron, said in the release. “We respect other companies’ technology rights, just as we expect other companies to respect our technology rights.”

“Our lightweight container designs are evolved from our own proprietary designs that go back to at least 1992,” said Robert Spagnoli, Uniloy’s global product manager for molds and tooling, in the release. “In our view, this lawsuit by Mid-America simply shows that our lightweight container designs are performing exceptionally well in the marketplace. The key point that seems to be lost on Mid-America, however, is that our product success stems from our own unique proprietary features and is unrelated to the Mid-America patents.”

Mid-America’s patent infringement lawsuit against Milacron Plastics Technologies alleged infringement of five of its patents for extrusion blow molding tooling and packaging designs. Milacron sells all of the products in question under the brand name Uniloy. Mid-America Machining is seeking injunctive relief, monetary compensation, including court costs and attorney fees.