The engineering company is investing tens of millions of dollars in new technology to continue delivering innovation for its customers to help improve their processes. With 159 patents worldwide and 11 in China, it has an active programme to protect these to ensure that its R&D continues effectively.
This program has helped to give the seal-less and packing-free Hydra-Cell pumps a range of benefits to customers, such as:
- High efficiency – lowering energy consumption
- Ability to reliably and safely handle many difficult process liquids with 20 years plus service life – lowering the total cost of ownership
Wanner was able to stop the counterfeiters who were making very poor quality pumps, sending an important message that it is protecting its rights and doing everything it can to stop the copying of patented innovations – and to protect customers.
Specifically, Wanner took Shanghai Nikuni to court for infringement of one of its Chinese patents covering innovative features in the pumps. The defendant then filed invalidation proceedings with the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA).
However, Wanner prevailed in the court proceedings and the patent was upheld and found to be valid by the CNIPA, even after an appeal. The patent was also found to have been infringed by the Shanghai Intellectual Property Count and damages have been awarded to Wanner.
Wanner also won a second infringement case as well as a second invalidation action in the CNIPA against another counterfeiter. This matter is currently going through the appeal process, but Wanner is confident infringement will be confirmed.
The successful court decisions are especially significant during a critical time in the global economy, when third-party infringement is increasing rapidly. More than ever, this positive outcome reinforces that Wanner will not allow counterfeiting to occur without action and that it is essential to deal with these issues to protect brands and companies.
Wanner is a global company with a subsidiary in China, where the proceedings took place. Chinese Counsel represented the company in the litigation, managed by Wanner’s Minneapolis based patent counsel Merchant & Gould.
Bill Wanner, CEO of Wanner, said: “Our customers are, and always have been, front of mind in all our activities. It is of huge importance that every customer who buys a Wanner pump, receives a genuine Hydra-Cell, not a copy.
“We also want to continue delivering the most technological advanced pumps in the world and the only way to do that is by investing heavily in R&D. And the only way we can keep doing that is by ensuring that we protect this investment from illegal counterfeiting.
“The courts in China have delivered a stinging blow to counterfeiters and enabled us to continue supporting Chinese industry with the most technologically advanced pumps in the world.”
Joseph Loo, Wanner Pumps Ltd., Hong Kong, said: “Energy efficiency, reliability and a long service life is extremely important to industry in China, and our pumps are helping innovative companies become more sustainable. With strong protection from the Chinese courts, we will continue to protect our IP and ensure that our customers gain the range of benefits from our pumps to help improve their processes.”
Gregory A. Sebald of Merchant & Gould added: “Innovation is at the heart of Wanner’s work and we will continue, relentlessly, to defend Wanner’s rights through the courts in China and throughout the world. With strong legal protection such as that in China, we have shown that there is no place for counterfeiters in the modern, global economy.”
Wanner is delighted with the results, a powerful demonstration on the importance of protecting product development investments, patents and innovation from counterfeiters – and protecting its customers’ trust and loyalty.