In year 2012, Glaston initiated a process against Shanghai Northglass Technology & Industry Co. Ltd. and its distributor in Germany for patent violations relating to one of Glaston’s bending and tempering technologies. Based on a Glaston patent from 1995, a first instance judgement in Glaston’s favor was passed in Germany in January 2017.
Glaston holds patents for all its key solutions and has been successful in defending its Intellectual Property Rights. In addition to the pending process in Germany, patent infringement decisions against Northglass favouring Glaston have been issued in the UK in 2006 and in Canada in 2010. The Federal Court in Canada gave its decision in 2014 on the damages and ordered Northglass to pay Glaston EUR 1.3 million. The damages and the accrued interest since 2014 remain unpaid. Glaston will only book any related income in its financial results when payment has been received.
To step up the process, Glaston initiated a legal process to enforce the positive judgement of the Canadian legal proceedings for damage compensation in Germany. The court gave a judgement in Glaston’s favour in late 2017 but the process is still incomplete, as an application for permission to appeal has been made to a higher court. In the meantime, with the purpose of safeguarding Glaston’s rights, as a security measure Glaston applied to the court for seizure of payment between Northglass and its client. Subsequently the court has granted the seizure in favour of Glaston in said payment seizure claim. As a result of the above mentioned positive outcome Glaston may now advance on its measures aiming to the actual seizure of payment. Glaston is also considering other options for securing the compensation.
“As the technology leader of our industry we will continue to protect our Intellectual Property Rights globally. Unfortunately, as court decisions haven’t been respected by Northglass, indirect parties like glass processors had to be affected by the process. We really try to minimize the harm but at the same time want to point out that we are defending our assets and rights. Defending these rights has not been made easy but especially in cases where the acquisition of lines is published we have an opportunity to take action”, says Sasu Koivumäki, SVP Glaston Machines business.
Glaston’s position in the market is particularly strong in technologically demanding products. Currently Glaston has several IPR infringement investigations ongoing in Europe and Asia.