French forklift manufacturer Manitou infringed JCB’s intellectual property rights through its use of patented stability control systems in its “telehandler” machines, a UK High Court has said.
The British heavy vehicle manufacturer is now seeking costs and damages from Manitou, after the court said the French firm infringed JCB’s patent by using patented safety control systems in its telescopic diggers, tractors, and forklift vehicles.
JCB also said it would be seeking a High Court order to restrain Manitou from further infringing its intellectual property rights, after the court found JCB’s patented technology in a “significant” number of Manitou’s telehandlers, including machines in the firm’s current range.
In a statement, JCB chief executive Graeme Macdonald said: “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,” the company chief executive said.
The ruling comes after Manitou failed in its bid to challenge JCB’s European patent, which is set to expire in September 2031.
JCB said it has also brought forward a claim in France for infringement of the same European patent, as it said a formal hearing is expected to take place in Paris in 2023.
Manitou has been approached for comment.