Recycling equipment maker Erema Engineering Recycling Maschinen und Anlagen GmbH has settled a European patent infringement lawsuit against Maplan Maschinenfabrik und Anlagen fur Kunststofftechnik Schwerin GmbH.
The dispute centers on Erema's patent for plastic recycling systems.
Under the settlement, Maplan cannot make any more of the systems in question, although Maplan has until Dec. 31, 1998, to sell the remaining machines, according to executives from both companies.
Erema filed the lawsuit in 1995 after the K'95 plastics trade show in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Erema sued the Maplan facility in Schwerin, Germany, with filings in Dusseldorf State Court and the Federal Patent Court. When the lawsuits were filed, the Maplan Schwerin factory was known as MAK-Schwerin GmbH, but the name was changed to Maplan. Erema, based in Linz, Austria, announced the settlement in August.
Andreas Kreindl, Erema's sales manager, said in a telephone interview from Austria that the infringement involved how the equipment is attached to the main extruder.
Kreindl said that, under terms of the settlement, Maplan will sell the three or four machines it already has built. ``They have the right to sell those machines, but they have to notify us who is the customer,'' Kreindl said.
The Maplan plant in Schwerin is owned by Starlinger & Co. GmbH of Vienna, Austria. Christian Graf, general manager of Maplan Schwerin, confirmed terms of the settlement. Graf said the Schwerin factory now manufacturers machines, screws, barrels and other products for extruders.
Each company will pay its own legal expenses.
Starlinger also makes weaving machines that make heavy-duty rope bags for moving cargo.