RAM Spreaders win patent case against AMMESA – Rotainer

Revolver Win website

Federal Court of Australia has found RAM Revolver did not infringe AMMESA’s Innovation Patent.

 

Summary
Following a recent court case, RAM Spreaders has achieved an emphatic victory over AMMESA, the owner of Rotainer over claims that AMMESA had made unjustified threats in claiming NSL infringed the Rotainer patent.

The Federal Court of Australia based in Australia found that the RAM Revolver does not infringe the Rotainer patent and that AMMESA had made unjustified threats in claiming infringement.

Furthermore, the court ruled that AMMESA was found to have breached Australian Consumer Law for having engaged in misleading conduct in sending letters to RAM Spreaders’ customers and partners, claiming RAM had infringed the Rotainer patent.


Background
In 2014 AMMESA alleged, in various letters of correspondence to RAM Spreaders’ customers and partners that NSL infringed their innovation patent with the RAM Revolver.  However there are significant prior patents which date back to the 1980’s on rotary tipplers and RAM had held a firm and strong belief that they did not infringe any patent.

Following these letters of correspondence from AMMESA and the subsequent damage to RAM’s reputation and business prospects, and with a firm belief that they did not infringe any patent, NSL Engineering, the parent company of RAM Spreaders, issued court proceedings against Rotainer/AMMESA for unjustified threats and misleading and deceptive conduct under the Australian Consumer Law.

 

Judgment
Deliberating the evidence brought before the court, The Hon Justice Jessup concluded in the written judgment on June the 1st 2016 reference VID 631 of 2016 the following findings:

Infringement as per the Patents Act (1990) section 128
(reference 67 in the judgment)

The Hon Justice Jessup reached a verdict of non-infringement of claim 1 of the innovation patent, being the broadest claim and held that AMMESA’s threats in respect of the RAM Revolver product were unjustified.

The Judgment puts a restraint on AMMESA from representing that the RAM Revolver infringes AMMESA’s innovation patent.

Australian Consumer Law (section 18 – Misleading and deceptive conduct
(reference 68-71 in the judgment)

In respect of the findings under section 18 of the Australian Consumer Law, The Hon Justice Jessup carefully analyzed the letters of demand sent by AMMESA’s patent Attorney to customers and partners of NSL/RAM Spreader entities.

The Hon Justice Jessup found that by sending the letters, AMMESA engaged in misleading conduct and therefore is in breach of section 18 of the Australian Consumer Law.


Costs

The court awarded that AMMESA is to pay the majority (>90%) of the legal costs which have been incurred by NSL/RAM.  The quantum of such costs is significant.

Such a large percentage of costs are an indication of how emphatic the victory for RAM has been.

Learning about the successful judgment Mr. Philip Lee, Chief Executive Officer of RAM Spreaders commented “We are pleased to have such an emphatic judgment of non-infringement in this patent case against AMMESA/Rotainer.  We are happy to put this legal action in the past and continue to focus on our customers without the threat of any further misleading conduct from provincial companies like AMMESA”.


Conclusion

  1. Federal Court of Australia has found RAM Revolver did not infringe AMMESA’s innovation patent and that AMMESA is restrained from asserting infringement.
  2. AMMESA made unjustified threats in relation to writing to RAM’s clients and partners.
  3. AMMESA engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct under the Australian Consumer Law