Nooteboom Wins Patent Case

Nooteboom Wins Patent Case

Nooteboom wins important patent case concerning Pendel-X low-loader with deep excavator trough

 From the first ‘swiveler’ with pendle axles to the MANOOVR: the already long list of innovations at Nooteboom is still growing. Consequently the need to properly protect these inventions grows too and obtaining a patent is an important way to protect intellectual property.

 Just over ten years: that’s how long the juridical wrangling about the Pendle-X Euro low-loader with excavator trough, originally developed by Nooteboom has lasted. Earlier this year the European Patent Office finally decided in the trailer manufacturer’s favour: the combination of an excavator trough and pendle axles is unique and Nooteboom is the only party in Europe that can bring this product on the market.

 A real boost
“This has ended a long period of uncertainty,” says Manager Toon de Smit, who is responsible for the company’s patent applications. “While we were filing our application for the patent in 2005 we were already challenged: the low-loader with excavator trough was not thought to be unique and according to our competitors we could therefore not apply for a patent. The principle of an excavator trough and the concept of pendle axles have indeed been around for a while. But it’s the combination of the two that is in fact unique and has not been seen before and this is what the Appeal Board of the European Patent Office pointed out in their verdict.”

Encouraging innovation
A patent is nothing more and nothing less than the exclusive and temporary right to exploit a particular invention. For a company such as Nooteboom, who invests heavily in R&D, this can be valuable: the temporary monopoly gives the patent applicant the opportunity to recoup the investment and to profit from the invention. Then they can use these funds to invest in more innovations. But in a wider sense the patent also has advantages for the sector as a whole. Other parties may be able (for a fee) to use the invention – for instance as a licensee.

High innovation tempo
The list of patents at Nooteboom is still growing. And in the coming years Toon de Smit expects that list to get longer very quickly. “The innovation tempo at Nooteboom has always been high. Meanwhile we have stated explicitly that we have a strong ambition to intensify our R&D programme further and to increase the innovation tempo. In practice this means that we want to introduce two significant innovations every year.”

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