GET battle looms

GROUND engaging tools makers Esco Corporation and Bradken are facing off in the New South Wales Federal Court over allegations Bradken infringed on Esco’s patents.
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A specially fitted out truck provides GET service at a minesite.

Staff Reporter

Esco has filed the action seeking a ruling that Bradken’s products infringe on Esco’s Australian patent numbers 743348, 718560, 716062, 699365, 696335 and 678964.

Esco engineered products president Jon Owens said the investments the company had made in its intellectual property set the company apart.

“Innovation is one of our greatest assets and we intend to vigorously protect our intellectual property rights.”

Bradken says in a statement that it will “actively defend all infringement allegations”

It says the claims relate to only a portion of Bradken’s GET range and was not material “being less than 1 per cent of Bradken’s 2011-12 total sales”

The two companies used to be close. Bradken was the distributor for Esco’s GET products for many years. That arrangement came to an end on June 30, 2011.

Esco set up its own distribution operation in Australia and Bradken went about designing its own range of GETs.

Bradken says in its statement that its products “are evolutionary and are developed in line with the changing needs of its mining customers”

“Bradken will continue to develop and release new innovative products using its own intellectual property and know-how and this matter will in no way impede the ongoing development and roll-out of its new GET product ranges.”