Infringe our IP and face the legal consequences, warns VMI

In April 2015, machinery manufacturer VMI shared that the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of China had upheld a patent infringement claim it lodged against Shuangjun Plastic and Rubber Machinery Ltd; the Chinese firm had infringed a key patent related to VMI’s tyre building drum and was passing off this copied product as its own property. VMI has now issued another statement in which it emphasises that it “continues to enforce against IP infringement.” While no specific new cases are named in this latest statement, it may well be that VMI is warning companies not to even think about infringing the intellectual property contained within its new and soon to be released MILEXX truck tyre building machine.

“As a leading innovator in tyre manufacturing technology, VMI invests heavily in innovation and know how,” the Netherlands-based company writes. “VMI has built up a unique reputation globally as the producer of the most advanced and the most cost effective tyre building machines in the world. Many of the VMI innovations are protected by patents worldwide and when these are infringed upon, VMI’s strategy is to bring offenders to court to have them face legal consequences.

“Over the past years, VMI has successfully started several IP infringement cases in China,” adds VMI. “Recently, new incidents of blatant infringement against VMI’s model protection and patents came to our attention. VMI has commenced further enforcement actions and will take all steps necessary to make these offenders face the legal consequences of their illegal acts.

“VMI believes that intellectual property theft not only damages VMI’s commercial interests, but it also has a strong impact on the industry. Inferior products that are sold may result in manufacturing downtime or otherwise damage the interest of customers.”

Harm Voortman, president and chief executive officer of VMI, concludes: “That is why we see defence of our IP rights not just as a simple commercial necessity, but we consider it as a clear duty to the market.”

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