Nooteboom wins patent case for Pendel-X low-loader with deep excavator trough

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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.

The list with patents at Nooteboom is still growing. And in the coming years Toon de Smit expects that list to get longer very quickly. “The innovation tempo at Nooteboom has always been high. Meanwhile we have stated explicitly that we have a strong ambition to intensify our R&D programme further and to increase the innovation tempo. In practice this means that we want to introduce two significant innovations every year. With the objective, of course, of providing our customers with top-quality trailers. Trailers that due to a low total cost of ownership not only bring savings financially, but also score high in terms of useful service life because of their clever design. Inventions that deserve to be protected.”

November 4, 2016

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Tom Stone is Editor of the iVT brand – which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and the Advanced Lift-truck supplement, as well as ivtinternational.com, which is updated daily. Tom has met and interviewed some of the world's leading industrial vehicle OEM presidents, CEOs and MDs, and takes great pride in cementing iVT's place as the leading forum for debate within the industry, a reputation that his been built up over the brand's 25-year history.

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