Intellectual Property Case Study

IP

Introduction

An international container manufacturer, based in Sydney, with a portfolio of patents for their specialized containers, was tendering against their direct competition for an important project in Antofagasta Chile. The project consisted of providing hundreds of containers to the Port that would be used to hold copper from the mines to the port with the goal of reducing dust and toxins in the air.

Challenge

The initial challenge was the fact that our client had a long history with their direct competitor regarding the infringement of their patents and the competitor was now offering the infringed containers in Chile at a much lower price. Our client patents which had been filed in Chile had been opposed by the direct competitor making it even more difficult to confirm our clients patent rights in Chile. Furthermore, the port that was tendering the project ignored the prior patent issues between these two potential offerors putting our client at a severe disadvantage.

Solution And Benefits

Given that our client was based in Australia and the tender date was fast approaching, our firm decided to take a commercial approach by directly contacting the port and informing them of the current patent infringement lawsuits between the parties. By continuing with the other party, the port could find themselves using containers that would be considered counterfeit products once our clients patents were approved. Through these discussions, we were able to convey to the senior team responsible for the tender the reputational and legal consequences while still maintaining the positive relationship.

The end result was that our client won the tender on the original date without having to take legal action. The port has purchased several more times since the initial tender and the results of our client’s technology has helped the air quality of Antofagasta, an important copper region.

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