CHICAGO (July 28, 4:55 p.m. EDT) — Maguire Products Inc. has launched a global attack against a group of companies that allegedly infringed on Maguire´s patents for its latest blender.
Maguire filed patent-infringement lawsuits June 16 in Europe and the United States against Novatec Inc. of Baltimore; Labotek A/S in Frederikssund, Denmark; Piovan SpA of Santa Maria di Sala, Italy; and Ferlin Plastics Automation of Dedemsvaart, the Netherlands, according to a Maguire news release.
Maguire, which formerly had not sought patents on its blenders, had patents pending on its new gravimetric MicroBlender, said B. Patrick Smith, Maguire´s vice president of marketing and sales.
The company alleged Novatec infringed on those upcoming patents with its Nova Blend 100 blender.
Novatec President Larry DeBaugh said he was not informed that Maguire had a patent on its MicroBlender.
"We were taken absolutely, completely by surprise. The first indication that they had filed for a patent or (been) granted a patent came in a letter from their attorney dated June 14, 2000," he said.
In the letter, Maguire said the design patent was granted May 9, 2000.
The company also demanded Novatec withdraw its NovaBlend 100 from the market and that the company not introduce it at NPE, according to the letter.
DeBaugh said the June 15 deadline to respond was not enough time and that Novatec´s lawyers soon will file a response.
"They had no intent to discuss this with us. I think it was all for publicity," he said.
Ferlin has been served a lawsuit seeking damages for the sale of a blender that Maguire claims infringes on its European patent for the MicroBlender. Labotek is accused of distributing the Ferlin blender in the Netherlands and soon will be served with an infringement lawsuit, the Maguire news release said.
Piovan is being sued in an Italian court for its alleged version of the Maguire MicroBlender.
Maguire, based in Aston, Pa., accused each company of infringing on various design and utility components of the MicroBlender, Smith said.
The suit against Novatec was filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.
Meanwhile, DeBaugh said there are at least a half-dozen other companies that have developed blenders with the same design as Maguire´s MicroBlender.