Milacron Mounts Defense Against Patent Lawsuit
Cinncinnati, Ohio-based Milacron is defending itself against a patent lawsuit filed by Mid-America Machining, Inc. The lawsuit, filed June 15 in Detroit, seeks to prevent Milacron from selling its Uniloy line of lightweight blow molded container designs. It states that Uniloy lightweight container designs allegedly infringe a family of US patents issued to Mid-America for extrusion blow molding tooling and packaging designs.
Milacron states that it will vigorously defend the lawsuit. “We are very confident in our position,” said Robert Spagnoli, global product manager, molds and tooling. “Our lightweight container designs are evolved from our own proprietary designs that go back to at least 1992. In our view, this lawsuit by Mid-America simply shows that our lightweight container designs are performing exceptionally well in the marketplace. The key point that seems to be lost on Mid-America, however, is that our product success stems from our own unique proprietary features and is unrelated to the Mid-America patents.”
On July 13, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a notice that Milacron’s new Uniloy lightweight container design was allowed for issuance as a patent. Uniloy, a Milacron brand, has a long history of product innovation for the development of complete blow molding systems, pulling from its broad range of blow molding machinery technologies, including the design and manufacture of blow molds, trimmers, and conveying systems, all backed up with comprehensive technical service support.
“Our products are based on proprietary technology. And when it comes to the end product, typically containers, we have the capability to provide product design assistance to our customers or, as in this case, develop our own proprietary designs that we openly license to our customers,” noted David J. Skala, vice president and general manager global blow molding. “We respect other companies technology rights, just as we expect other companies to respect our technology rights.”
Mid-America Machining is seeking injunctive relief, monetary compensation, including court costs and attorney fees.