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Manitou cleared in patent case, but fined

Thursday, 4 March 2021 ( #1015 ) - Paris, France
JCB's longitudinal stability monitoring system patent
JCB's longitudinal stability monitoring system patent
A French court has largely ruled in favour of Manitou in a patent infringement action brought by JCB. The Paris Court of Justice rejected one part of JCB's claim of infringement of two European patents relating to certain features concerning the control system of the overload cut-off of certain telescopic forklift trucks. Manitou interprets the decision as a rejection of most of the claims of the French part of the second patent held by JCB, but the court did find some infringement by "three models of equipment from an old configuration which is no longer marketed by Manitou BF". Manitou is challenging this decision while noting that it has no impact on its business as this old configuration is no longer marketed. The court ordered Manitou BF to pay the plaintiff the total sum of EUR150,000 (USD180,000) - a long way short of JCB's claim of EUR190 million (USD230 million). The action was initiated in May 2017. "The court's decision reinforces the position of Manitou, which has always contested the merits of the plaintiff's action and the disproportionate nature of its claims. The group will continue to firmly defend itself against infringement allegations of three patents claimed by JCB," the company says. In early 2019, JCB won the first round of a telehandler patent infringement legal case against Manitou. A preliminary injunction granted by the judge at the Court of the First Instance in Paris stopped Manitou from manufacturing, selling or leasing telescopic handlers with the Longitudinal Load Moment Control (LLMC) system. JCB has not yet responded to the latest decision.
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