The patent lawsuit had already been filed by SEHO at the end of 2009, after an out-of-court settlement could not be reached.
To present the right product at the right time on the market is of existential importance for a brand manufacturer. Innovative details that provide the user with real added-value play a central role in this process. This sort of innovation involves considerable effort, particularly in machine construction, costing time, energy and, most of all, money. These are expenses that a potential imitator of technical innovations does not have, and as a consequence he does not need to put a corresponding price on the end product to cover these. New technical inventions can be patented that can protect against such impacts. According to the German Patent and Trade Mark Office, “patents confer to their owners a territorial monopoly right for a limited period”.
Such an innovation is represented by the SEHO-developed nitrogen tunnel for wave soldering systems, which has revolutionised the production of electronic assemblies. By means of the tunnel’s special form, a very low level of residual oxygen is reached with a minimum consumption of nitrogen, within an extremely short period of time. The advantages for the user are obvious: low consumption costs, significantly lower maintenance expenses and improved soldering joint quality.
The decision to take legal action was not easy for SEHO. Usually SEHO cultivates an open and cooperative relationship not only with customers but also with market competitors and partnering companies. However, an out-of-court settlement could unfortunately not be reached.
With its decision of 23.12.2010, the Dusseldorf Regional Court determined in first instance that Ersa had violated the SEHO patent DE 37 37 563 C2, which was registered in 1987 by SEHO and which had expired at the end of 2007, and that Ersa, on the merits, was liable to pay substantial damages. Ersa appealed against the judgement.
In the meantime, new attempts to reach an out-of-court settlement which began after the Regional Court’s decision, have unfortunately failed.
Since its foundation in 1973, SEHO (http://www.seho.de) has become the worldwide contact partner whenever soldering is involved. Company solutions are based on performance, flexibility, efficiency and technical progress. SEHO’s business activities and production organization are oriented according to the principles of sustained future-compatible development and production of machines. As a result, all applicable environmental standards are complied with meticulously. With its systems, the company provides customers with a sustained and resource economizing production facility. It continuously develops its technology in order to provide customers with a competitive advantage.