VMI wins tyre building drum patent infringement case in China

August 2, 2017

VMIVMI Group has won a patent infringement case in China for its tyre building drum against Shuangjun Plastic and Rubber Machinery Ltd.

Shuangjun has been ordered by the Chinese Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to stop manufacturing, offering for sale, and making false claims about the product.

In 2014, VMI received reports from the market that a company named Shuangjun Plastic and Rubber Machinery Ltd had illegally infringed a key patent related to VMI’s tyre building drum and was falsely passing off the resulting copies as being their own property.

Once VMI gathered sufficient evidence, a formal complaint was made to the IPO, which then carried out a raid on the premises of Shangjun Plastic and Rubber in August 2014 to secure further evidence of this illegal activity.

As a direct result of the raid, Shangjun attempted to invalidate VMI’s long-standing and world-recognised patent.  Shuangjun completely failed in the invalidation attempt as the Chinese Patent Review Board ruled against Shuangjun and upheld VMI’s patent.

In addition, the IPO has now formally ruled that Shuangjun infringed VMI’s patent in judgement passed on April 8, 2015. The IPO has ruled that the activity taken by Shangjun was indeed a clear case of copying VMI’s IP with the intention of deceiving clients into buying imitation products, falsely “passed-off” as Shangjun property.

As a result of this successful defense of IP carried out in China, with the full support of the relevant Chinese government bodies, Shuangjun Plastic and Rubber Ltd has been ordered to stop production of the copied drum, and to stop offering for sale or otherwise taking into the market any further copies of the VMI product.

Having been successful in winning this unequivocal judgement, VMI is now considering actions against other infringers in the market to protect its technology, products and reputation.

As a leading innovator in smart manufacturing technology, VMI invests heavily in original IP and has built up a unique reputation globally as the most advanced and most cost effective manufacturer of tyre building machines in the world.

VMI manufactures in the Netherlands and in China. VMI is a committed, long-term investor in the Chinese economy, exporting to the world from Yantai in China and employing a growing number of highly-skilled Chinese personnel. To maintain its competitive position in the market VMI holds many patents worldwide and adds to them each year.

Recognising the damage that intellectual property theft causes to the company and the market, VMI aims to identify all significant patent infringements and respond rapidly and vigorously in every such case. Defense of IP is thus not simply a commercial necessity but a clear duty to the market.

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