A German court has dismissed HPM Corp.'s patent infringement lawsuit against Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., ending a brief legal skirmish over the companies' two-platen injection press technology.
``The case has been dismissed in full,'' said a Husky spokesman.
Neil Kadisha, president and chief executive officer of HPM's parent, Stadco Inc., said HPM ``will respect the decision of the court.''
Although the case centered only on Germany — HPM had sought an injunction barring the sale of Husky's E-Series machine within Germany — the debate echoed throughout North America because HPM filed the suit just a few days before last year's NPE 1997 show in Chicago. Husky introduced its E-Series press at NPE. HPM's two-platen machine is called the Next Wave.
HPM of Mount Gilead, Ohio, filed the suit in a district court in Dusseldorf, Germany, claiming that Husky's two-platen press violated a German patent held by Hemscheidt Maschinentechnik Schwerin GmbH & Co., based in Schwerin, Germany. HPM bought Hemscheidt in 1996.
The lawsuit focused on aspects of the two-platen machine, including the locking mechanism.
``The Dusseldorf court has dismissed HPM's claim that Husky's E-line machine design infringes on any of the patents owned by HPM,'' Husky said in the statement. The court dismissed the lawsuit earlier this month.
Kadisha, interviewed April 22, said HPM had received a verbal notice that it lost the case, but had not received court papers yet.
``Basically, the case was on the locking mechanism,'' Kadisha said. ``The court found because our machine is locking simultaneously — moving and locking simultaneously — and Husky's machine is not moving and locking simultaneously, because of that, the court has dismissed the case. We still believe that their design is very, very close to ours on the locking mechanism, but we respect the court decision.''
Although Husky said HPM will have to pay all court and legal fees for both sides, Kadisha said he was waiting for final word on that from Germany.
Husky, based in Bolton, Ontario, said: ``This decision confirms that Husky is free to manufacture and sell E-line machines anywhere the world.''