Finnish glass technology supplier Glaston is continuing to defend its Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) against NorthGlass in Shanghai, China.

Glaston, based in Helsinki, Finland, began a process against Shanghai NorthGlass Technology Industrial and its distributor in Germany in 2012. The process was for patent violations relating to one of its bending and tempering technologies from 1995. A first instance judgement was passed in Glaston’s favour in Germany in January 2017.

Sasu Koivumäki, Senior Vice-President of Machines at Glaston, said: “As the technology leader of our industry, we will continue to protect our Intellectual Property Rights globally.

“Unfortunately, as court decisions haven’t been respected by NorthGlass, indirect parties like glass processors had to be affected by the process.”

Glaston holds patents for all its key solutions and has been successful in defending its IPRs so far. Patent infringement decisions have been issued against NorthGlass favouring Glaston in the UK in 2006 and Canada in 2010.

Mr Koivumäki explained: “We really try to minimise the harm but at the same time want to point out that we are defending our assets and rights.

“Defending these rights has not been made easy but especially in cases where the acquisition of lines is published we have an opportunity to take action.”

The Federal Court of Canada gave its decision in 2014 on the damages and ordered NorthGlass to pay Glaston €1.3 million. However, the damages and accrued interest since 2014 have remained unpaid. Therefore, the glass technology supplier will only book any related income in its financial results when the payment has been received.

In order to speed up the process, Glaston has initiated a legal process to enforce the positive judgement of Canadian legal proceedings in damage compensation in Germany. Although the court gave a judgement in Glaston’s favour in late 2017, the process is still not yet complete and an application for permission to appeal has been made to a higher court.

In the meantime, in order to safeguarding its rights, Glaston has applied to the court for seizure of payment between NorthGlass and its client as a security measure. The court has now granted the seizure in favour of Glaston. As a result, Glaston may now advance on its measures and aim for the actual seizure of the payment. The Finnish glass-processing specialist is also considering other options for securing the compensation.

Currently, Glaston has several IPR infringement investigations on-going in Europe and Asia.