On 5th July 2022 the High Court of Justice (Patents Court) in London found that Manitou UK Limited and its listed French parent company Manitou BF, infringed JCB's European Patent EP (GB) 2 616 382 relating to stability control systems on telehandlers.
This judgement followed a 6-day hearing in the High Court in London in November 2021.
The case will now be referred to a further hearing where JCB will be asking the High Court to grant an injunction to restrain further infringement. JCB will also be requesting an order for the assessment and payment of damages and costs with interest.
The subject patent relates to JCB's long established safety control system on its telehandler range which allows greater productivity and reach. The UK ruling found infringement by a significant number of Manitou's telehandler models depending on their date of release, including machines in its current product offering. Manitou unsuccessfully challenged the validity of the patent, which is due to expire in September 2031.
JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald said: "As I have said now on several occasions, JCB will not tolerate any infringement of its intellectual property rights in any jurisdiction, particularly when that involves its major competitors. JCB will always challenge any companies that seek to take unfair advantage of the very significant investments JCB undertakes in research and development to ensure it remains the leading manufacturer of telehandlers in the world."
JCB has also brought infringement proceedings against Manitou BF, in France, for infringement of the same European Patent. Those proceedings are still pending and a formal hearing is expected to take place in Paris sometime in the latter part of 2023.