By: Jim Rosenberg
Baldwin Germany GmbH, a Augsburg, Germany-based subsidiary of Baldwin Technology Co. Inc. of Shelton, Conn., filed suit last week in Dusseldorf against technotrans A.G. of Sassenberg, Germany, for patent-infringement damages amounting to 32,672,592 Euros (approximately $41 million).
The filing opens what Baldwin calls “the next phase of … litigation,” following court rulings in its favor
According to Baldwin, an infringement action its German subsidiary filed against technotrans five years ago resulted in a November 2002 ruling by the Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court that technotrans infringed Baldwin’s cooling combination patent with the combination devices it sold through 2002. Technotrans’ appeal to the German Supreme Court in Karlsruhe is pending.
In July 2004, German Federal Patent Court in Munich upheld Baldwin Germany’s cooling combination patent, which was the subject of a revocation action brought by technotrans. It also is now on appeal to the Supreme Court.
Last July, technotrans said further proceedings would “have no effect on the future development of technotrans, as appropriate provisions were created back in 2002 and the production principle for the equipment in question has been changed.” The 2002 provision for possible compensation amounted to 2.5 million Euros.
Technotrans in Sassenberg had no public response to the filing, and an executive from technotrans america, in Wheeling, Ill., could not be reached immediately for comment. That suburban-Chicago subsidiary is based at the Ryco Graphic Mfg Inc. operation that technotrans acquired in April of 2000.
In January 2003, technotrans said Baldwin Technology had decided not to pursue its proposed sale to technotrans, and that Baldwin had terminated a letter of intent in which it was agreed that Technotrans would pay $2.50 per Baldwin share. Technotrans said will would not offer more than $2.50 per share.