JCB has been granted a preliminary injunction by a French court against Manitou which orders the company to stop producing telehandlers featuring a patented JCB productivity device.
The ruling means that Manitou, based near Nantes, cannot manufacture, sell or lease telescopic handlers equipped with the patented feature.
JCB chief executive Graeme Macdonald said: “We invest millions of pounds in developing and patenting innovative and sophisticated engineering solutions which benefit our customers all over the world. We will not tolerate any copying or infringement of our intellectual property rights wherever in the world they occur.”
During operation of Loadall telescopic handlers fitted with the patented Longitudinal Load Moment Control (LLMC) system, sensors monitor the weight being retained on the rear axle. If they detect the weight is reducing past a pre-set threshold, then the system gradually locks out the hydraulics to prevent further weight being transferred, therefore avoiding the machine tipping forward.
JCB has a patented feature on its LLMC system that automatically disengages the device while the machine is moving. This prevents JCB’s telehandlers from unnecessarily locking out the hydraulics and giving false indications of instability when the machine is simply re-handling or travelling over rough ground.
It is the use of this feature the French court has ordered Manitou to cease by 13 March. The court also ordered the company to pay costs.