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JCB wins injunction against Manitou

JCB has been granted a provisional injunction at the Paris based Tribunal de Grande Instance (Court of First Instance) ordering Manitou to stop producing telehandlers featuring an element of its overload system which JCB claims infringes a European patent it holds.

The case began in May 2017 concerning two patents, in the case of one of the patents the court ruled that Manitou was not guilty of any infringement, while the case regarding the other patent is ongoing.

Both companies use sensors on the rear axle of their telehandlers which monitor the weight and locks out the lift system when the load on the rear axle drops below a pre-set threshold. The feature at the core of the injunction concerns a device that disengages the system when the machine is moving, preventing false readings from the dynamic effects of travelling over rough ground with a load.

The court ordered Manitou to stop using the device by March 13th with a penalty of €1,000 per infringement and to pay €25,000 of JCB’s litigation costs. However the court also acknowledged that Manitou had already ceased using the device some time ago as a precaution.

The case has been running since 2017, with JCB initially seeking up to €20 million in damages, Manitou has strenuously denied any infringement, and has not used the contested device since then. The case will continue.

Vertikal Comment

We will hold off any comment until the legal case has fully completed - an interesting case though.


Felix Duncan
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Feb 23, 2019