Hot runner systems manufacturer Synventive Molding Solutions Inc. announced April 28 that it had won a patent infringement lawsuit filed in Mannheim, Germany, against Inglass SpA and its German subsidiary HRSflow GmbH.
Peabody, Mass.-based Synventive said the Mannheim Regional Court ruled on April 24 that HRSflow's FLEXflow and FLEXflow One products infringe on a patent related to technology covering the use of actuators and pin control of sequential valve gated hot runner systems.
In an April 28 news release, Synventive said the judgment is the first ruling against HRSflow related to the patent, which up until this point Synventive has not asserted against HRSflow anywhere else in the world.
Asked for comment from Plastics News, Inglass officials said the judgment is related to an old product generation, not to its current and improved HRS FLEXflow Evo system.
"The judgment does not affect any customer and their operations of HRSflow systems, which are or will be all upgraded to HRSflow FLEXflow Evo," Inglass said in an emailed response to questions. "The mentioned ongoing proceedings regarding the stepped profile, for which there is actually no judgment, do not relate to the current HRSflow FLEXflow Evo sold and for sale worldwide."
It concluded: "The court proceedings mentioned by Synventive relate to the past. They do not affect the present and the future of our products."
In its news release, Synventive said it "is committed to vigorously enforcing its intellectual property rights against suspected unauthorized use."
Synventive added that it entered into a technology license in 2014 that granted HRSflow the rights to implement Synventive's patented Synflow pin control technology. "The patented technology, primarily utilized in the automotive interior and exterior industry, provides superior performance of the injection molding process by controlling the valve pin velocity to eliminate surface defects in the molded part."
That license expired on Nov. 6, 2018, according to Synventive.
Synventive added that the Mannheim Court is expected to rule on a proposed redesign of HRSflow's product this summer.
Synventive is an operating unit of Barnes Molding Solutions, a business unit of Barnes Group Inc.