Patent row over wrapper

12 October 2001

Patent row over wrapper

By Andy Collings

KVERNELANDS recently launched baler wrapper – the Taarup Bale In One (Bio) – is already at the centre of a dispute over alleged patent infringements.

The special feature of the Bio design is that the wrapping process takes place inside the bale chamber, avoiding the usual arrangement of linking a round baler and a wrapping unit as separate units on a single chassis.

The Taarup Bios benefits, claims Kverneland, include a significant reduction in size and weight, producing a more compact machine which is said to be easier to manoeuvre.

Irish grassland machinery specialist Tanco has also announced a two-in-one machine with wrapping inside the bale chamber. It is called the Bale Processor and Tanco says the Taarup Bio infringes some of its patents.

"We have been granted patents on the Bale Processor and we believe Kverneland has infringed some of them," says Lee Choo, Tancos managing director. "At this stage I am not able to discuss the matter further because it is in the hands of our solicitors."

According to Kvernelands product specialist Rob Edwards, it is certainly not unusual to have arguments about patent infringements when a new machine is introduced. But the problem can usually be resolved by the legal departments of the companies involved.

"In this particular case we are also claiming infringements of our patents on the Bio machine by other companies including Tanco, so it is very much a two-way situation," he says.

The main area of dispute is believed to centre on patents covering the design of the bale chamber and the way it opens. Mr Edwards says Kvernelands claims are being handled by his companys legal department.

Whatever the outcome, the case is thought unlikely to go to court. Both companies say a settlement would be negotiated should it be ruled that a patent had been infringed. &#42

Patent infringement? Tanco believes Kverneland may have contravened patents on its Taarup Bale In One (Bio) baler/wrapper.

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