After a 10-year battle Nooteboom’s Pendel-X Euro low-loader with excavator trough has been granted a patent by the European Patent Office, which states the combination of an excavator trough and pendel axles is unique.
“This has ended a long period of uncertainty,” said Manager Toon de Smit (below), who is responsible for patent applications within Nooteboom. “While we were filing our application for the patent in 2005 we were already challenged: the low-loader with excavator trough was not thought to be unique and according to our competitors we could therefore not apply for a patent.
“The principle of an excavator trough and the concept of pendel axles have indeed been around for a while. But it’s the combination of the two that is in fact unique and has not been seen before and this is what the Appeal Board of the European Patent Office pointed out in their verdict. This is a real boost for us; it proves that we really are trendsetters when it comes to innovation.”
A patent grants the exclusive and temporary right to exploit a particular invention. For a company such as Nooteboom, who invests heavily in R&D, this is valuable: the temporary monopoly gives the patent applicant the opportunity to recoup the investment and to profit from the invention. Then they can use these funds to invest in more innovations. But in a wider sense the patent also has advantages for the sector as a whole. Other parties may be able (for a fee) to use the invention for instance as a licensee.
November 4, 2016