Tyre maker and technology company Continental has acquired a 100 per cent shareholding in Czech machine tool manufacturer VÚK. The purchase of VÚK strengthens its presence in the city of Otrokovice, Czech Republic, site of the company’s largest tyre manufacturing facility worldwide. Continental says it intends to leverage VÚK’s strengths to drive forward its development and production of technologically advanced tyre assembly machinery.
Safe-Run has announced that it has made “significant progress” in the patent invalidation and patent litigation process against VMI Holland B.V. Safe-Run explained that the Patent Reexamination Board of State Intellectual Property Office declared that the VMI’s invention patent “Assembly for and Method of Making a Tyre Component” is “entirely invalid”. According to the company, the patent declared invalid is deemed to have “not existed from the very beginning”. In addition, the court has dismissed VMI’s litigation action against Safe-Run for this patent infringement. For its part, VMI stated that it made progress in the same series of cases and that it would appeal a number of adverse verdicts.
Machinery manufacturer VMI says it is increasingly active in South America, and in response VMI South America Ltda has moved to a new and larger location. On 12 May, VMI South America opened its new facility in the Brazilian city of Itatiaia, approximately half way between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Managing director Robson Souza de Araujo and his team now have approximately 1,350 square metres of floorspace at their disposal, an area divided into workshop and office space.
Kobe Steel, Ltd. has launched a new tyre testing machine, a tyre uniformity machine called the Librota-GS. According to the company, the new model has the world’s fastest cycle time of 18 seconds per tyre and the world’s highest repeated measurement accuracy.
Kobe Steel is regarded as a top manufacturer in the field of uniformity machines, with an estimated 30 per cent global market share. Kobe Steel plans to supply the new model to tyre makers in North America, Europe and regions throughout the world, aiming to capture further share of the market.
Netherlands-based leading tyre manufacturing machinery maker VMI reports that it has won its first patent invalidation case against Chinese firm Safe-Run. As part of ongoing legal action commenced by VMI against Safe-Run, VMI filed for invalidation of a number of Safe-Run patents. Recently, the Chinese Patent Review Board has ruled in this case and invalidated the first Safe-Run patent in its entirety as the patent “was based on prior art”.