Sponsored By

December 15, 2006

2 Min Read
MHT slapped with fine, strikes back with expansion

Some five years after market leader Husky first took it to court for stealing intellectual property, Mold & Hotrunner Technology AG (MHT; Hochheim, Germany) has been ordered by the Supreme District Court in Frankfurt to pay a fine of about €7 million plus interest (more than $11 million) to Husky (Bolton, ON). Husky accused MHT’s founders, all former Husky employees, of stealing CAD files related to 48-cavity horizontal preform molds that were manufactured by MHT until autumn 2001. MHT was founded in December 1996. In the past few years both Husky and MHT have pushed the size of PET preform molds, so that both firms now offer molds with upwards of 144 cavities.

The right to appeal this decision has been denied by the courts, but MHT may challenge this denial and indeed, MHT Marketing Manager Ralph Gauss says the firm is considering doing just that. Husky officials say further proceedings are pending.

“This judgment certainly isn’t good news, and the amount of damages came as a surprise,” says Christoph Kückels, MHT’s financial director. MHT has already paid the damages to Husky, and MHT says the amount neither affects MHT’s solvency nor touches the company’s equity capital. The firm says it is coming off its best year ever, with orders for 2007 indicating the coming year may meet or beat it.

MHT also announced it expanded in the U.S., opening a branch in October near Atlanta, GA, that is run by longtime MHT employee Manfred Lausenhammer. The branch includes office space plus room for servicing and assembling preform molds. MHT USA LLC will commence the assembly of PET preform molds in the first quarter of 2007.

Lausenhammer was formerly sales director of the MHT Group. Rolf Steinmetz will take over the position as sales director PET molds in addition to his work as director of project planning.

MHT notes that a German prosecutor dropped its investigations in Germany, and that a civil case brought by Husky against MHT’s co-founders before Germany’s Federal Labor Court also was closed.—[email protected]

Sign up for the PlasticsToday NewsFeed newsletter.

You May Also Like