As reported in Foodproductiondaily yesterday, the firm won a third infringement case against a US company for its spindle technology recently, protecting its patent 6,125,996.
Zero tolerance of any infringement
Tim Bast, VP Intellectual Property, Sidel, said its focus on intellectual property protection and zero tolerance of any infringement enables the firm to successfully enforce patents in key jurisdictions globally, including China.
“We disagree that China is known as a country of copycat manufacturers, as similar issues occur for all innovative manufacturers around the world,” he said.
“Spare parts have always been - and still remain - a critical part of beverage bottling line management.”
Bast said the company has recently invested heavily in improving its spare parts logistics network.
“We are aiming to encourage a more proactive approach to inventory management of our original parts amongst customers, as this can contribute to lower TCO,” he added.
According to ‘Product Piracy Goes High-Tech: Nabbing Know-How in China’ by German publication Spiegel, never before have the Chinese robbed the West of so much and such sensitive merchandise.
China duplicates entire machines and systems
Nearly 70% of all illegal copycat products come from Asia, and most of that comes from China, in what has mushroomed into a $300bn market. The issue is no longer just a pair of poorly copied Adidas running shoes or a plastic version of a Gucci watch. More recently, the Chinese and others have taken to pirating expensive, high-tech knowledge, allowing them to duplicate entire machines and systems.
Some companies discover copies of their own equipment at trade shows, copies that are sometimes almost identical with the original product, down to the very last solder joint and paint color.
Others suffer because the fakes are of such poor quality that they threaten to ruin the real brand's reputation.
"More than half of the companies affected by patent theft have had these experiences in China," said Heiko Beploat of the German Machinery and Equipment Manufacturing Association. For a country like Germany, which derives much of its economic advantage from innovation and cutting-edge technology, this is a threatening development.
“We always recommend the use of original Sidel parts and technologies to ensure the production equipment can withstand the stresses and pressures of high output beverage lines,” added Bast.
“The use of non-original third party parts can pose significant risks of premature wear and damage to the equipment, resulting in reduced performance and higher production and maintenance costs.
“Original Sidel Services spare parts are designed, tested and approved by Sidel engineers to provide long term security in production for exactly this reason.”