In Energy & Mining International magazine our editors and contributors often remark on the state of commodity industries throughout the world. However, there are plenty of issues that arise for the manufacturers that make the equipment used by these explorers and operators, and those often are related to patent issues with machinery. In December 2010, Metso Minerals of the United Kingdom won a patent infringement lawsuit against Terex Corp., which led to a judgment of $15.8 million in damages. After the trial ended, the company asked the court to increase that total to $31.6 million for “willful infringement,” which attorney Michael Stuart says was exactly what happened in this case. Stuart also says the issue with Terex’s invention when compared to Metso Minerals machinery has to do with how the side conveyors fold up during transport on the road. These conveyors fold into an “L” shape. Terex’s “powerscreen” infringes with its screeners, which have the same design. “It’s been a pretty long time, but cases in the federal court system take a long time,” Stuart says. “Cases are complex, and in this case, we had a lot of things going in with depositions, testimony in Ireland (where the inventor lives) and it took a while to get through the courts.” This case may go on, in fact. Stuart says the judge in the case said Metso Minerals is entitled to additional damages from 2007 through the date of the permanent injunction, as well. Stuart estimates that could result in another $20 million.

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