CHICAGO—Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. issued a formal response June 18 to the patent infringement lawsuit filed against its two-platen injection press. A competitor, HPM Corp., filed the suit last week in Germany.
Husky denied that its E-Series machine violates the German patent.
The suit covers two-platen injection molding machinery technology, specifically a German patent held by Hemscheidt Maschinentechnik Schwerin GmbH & Co. in Schwerin, Germany. HPM of Mount Gilead, Ohio, owns Hemscheidt.
HPM filed the patent infringement suit in a district court in Dusseldorf, Germany, on June 12 — just four days before NPE 1997 began in Chicago.
Husky officials at NPE said they were not informed about the lawsuit until June 16, when their company lawyer contacted them, according to Michael Urquhart, vice president of service and sales for Husky, of Bolton, Ontario. They had HPM's lawsuit translated from German into English, then issued their response June 18.
The German suit involves aspects of the two-platen machine, including the locking mechanism. HPM contends that Husky's E-Series machine, which was unveiled at NPE in Chicago, violates a Hemscheidt patent.
HPM is seeking an injunction barring the sale, within Germany, of the E machine.
``The locking mechanism that we use is significantly different,'' Urquhart said.
He said Husky officials were surprised by the suit, first reported in Plastics News' June 17 show daily. HPM did not inform Husky of the suit in advance, he said.
Urquhart issued the following statement: ``Our official position is that we are at a loss to understand why HPM would do this, for the following reasons.
``First of all, there are significant differences between their patent and the technology we are using. We do not feel that we in any way infringe,'' Urquhart said. ``We've had our lawyers look at it, as well as our technology people.''
Urquhart also said the German lawsuit ``does not in any way affect any other countries in the world.''
HPM was acquired last year by Stadco Inc., an aerospace manufacturer in Los Angeles.
Neil Kadisha, Stadco's president and chief executive officer, said HPM is confident about its position in the patent lawsuit. He noted that German law requires the losing party topay all legal fees for both sides.