Chinese govt. raids factory for alleged patent infringement

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AKRON (Aug. 8, 2014) — Chinese law enforcement officials have raided a Chinese factory that machinery manufacturer VMI Group accused of making tire-building drums that infringe on VMI’s patents, the company said in a press release.

“After reports of infringement, VMI decided to take action and request an inspection of the factory involved,” VMI said. Chinese court officials are evaluating the information seized in the raid and are expected to issue a ruling soon, according to the company.

VMI did not identify the company accused of infringing its patents, what remedies it is seeking, or how long it might take Chinese authorities to make a determination in the case.

“It is an essential part of our strategy to protect our intellectual property vigorously,” said Harm Voortman, president and CEO of VMI, in the press release issued from company headquarters in Epe, the Netherlands. “When our IP (intellectual property) is challenged, we need to proceed with the next step and bring wrongdoers to court.”

Arie Kroeze, president of VMI Americas Inc. in Stow, Ohio, declined to reveal any information not already included in the press release.

A wholly-owned subsidiary of TKH Group N.V., VMI claims to be the world’s leading manufacturer of tire-building machinery. The company also offers global technical support from its offices in the Netherlands, the U.S., Brazil, China, Malaysia and Russia. It has more than 1,000 employees worldwide.

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