Trexel Inc., the supplier of the MuCell microcellular foaming technology, is accusing a Taiwanese company, Chuan Lih Fa Machinery Works, of violating its patents in what a Trexel executive calls “just a blatant knockoff of our technology.”
Trexel President and CEO Steve Braig and the head of the Asian business visited Chuan Lih Fa's exhibit at the Taipei Plas show, held in Taiwan Sept. 26-30. Braig said the Trexel has patents in Taiwan and is studying legal action against the company.
Chuan Lih Fa Machinery Works won an award at Taipei Plas for its technology, under the category of plastic injection molding machine, from show organizers, the Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry and Taiwan External Trade Development Council. The company describes its injection press as a microcellular foam coinjection machine, according to a published report.
Braig said Trexel, based in Wilmington, Mass., holds more than 50 patents covering MuCell. They include a patent on molding microcellular items, defined as an average cell size smaller than 100 microns and a cell density of at least one million cells per cubic centimeter, he said.
Other patents cover the gas dosing mechanism and the special MuCell screw.
According to a published report, a representative of Chuan Lih Fa said its Eco brand of injection molding does not use MuCell, but instead uses technology patented by a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, called Everfocus Worldwide Co. Ltd.
Braig said that product manufacturers in other countries — such as those in North America and Europe — need to be aware that, if they import products made on equipment that violates MuCell patents, they also are in violation of those patents. “Purchasers of plastic parts, they don't understand that it's not the manufacturing location, but where it's shipped to, that matters,” Braig said.
“We will vigorously defend our patents. We have spent a lot of money developing a patent portfolio,” Braig said.