Two hot-runner competitors, Synventive Molding Solutions Inc. and Husky Injection Molding Systems Inc., are locked in a prolonged patent-infringement battle over valve-gate actuators.
Synventive filed suit against Husky in June 2008, in U.S. District Court in Burlington, Vt. Husky, which runs a hot-runner factory in Milton, Vt., countersued several months later. Since then, the case has been marked by more than a year of motions and legal debate over the production of confidential documents and highly confidential documents, charges of copying technical documents and arguments over communication between the two companies.
District Court Judge William K. Sessions III termed it a virulent discovery dispute. Both sides charge the other with abusive discovery practices.
And, after nearly 450 court filings, it's not over. Three months of settlement talks ended in a stalemate, court documents said.
Officials from Synventive in Peabody, Mass., and Husky, based in Bolton, Ontario, declined to comment for this story. But top officials have given depositions in the case. John Galt, Husky's president and CEO, was deposed in Bolton on Dec. 11, according to court records.
Synventive claims Husky infringed on three of its patents for valve pin actuators, from 1999, 2002 and 2003. Two Synventive officials are listed as the inventors on all three patents: Mark Moss, executive vice president of market and product strategy and Christopher Lee, design engineer. Synventive asked for a permanent injunction against Husky to stop the alleged infringement, and demanded a jury trial.
Husky denied any patent infringement and claims instead that the three patents are invalid because of prior art references, meaning the information was known before the patent was filed.
In its countersuit, Husky charges that a mechanical drawing Synventive filed in the case is a partial copy of the original mechanical drawing prepared by Husky and a Husky trade secret.
Husky alleges Synventive has obtained other of its trade-secret drawings from one or more customers who are under an obligation of confidentiality to Husky.
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