A WAR if words has broken out relating to patent infringements in the normally benign world of agricultural machinery.

This week, the High Court of Justice (Patents Court) in London produced a judgement in a long running battle between JCB and Manitou over misuse of patented technology, with both sides claiming 'victory'.

Following a six-day hearing, the court found that Manitou infringed JCB’s European Patent EP (GB) 2 616 382 relating to stability control systems on telehandlers.

The case will now be referred to a further hearing where JCB will be asking the High Court to grant an injunction to restrain further infringement. JCB said it will also request an order for the assessment and payment of damages and costs with interest.

The subject patent related to JCB’s long established safety control system on its telehandler range which allows greater productivity and reach.

Read more: JCB wins telehandler tech injunction against Manitou

JCB has also brought infringement proceedings against Manitou BF, in France, for infringement of the same European Patent. Those proceedings are still pending and a formal hearing is expected to take place in Paris sometime in the latter part of 2023.

Manitou also commented on the findings, pointing out that litigation brought by JCB relating to four of its patents had resulted in three of the JCB patents considered at trial found to be invalid in their entirety and that the action 'failed completely' in these instances.

Moreover, the court held that only certain features of telehandlers sold in the past infringed the fourth patent, argued Manitou, who said – while reserving the right to appeal this judgment – it did not have a significant impact on its business in the UK.

"Manitou will in any event seek payment from JCB of all its costs relating to the claims pursued by JCB but rejected by the Court, as well as interest on those sums," it said.