Patent owners represented by Columbiana Boiler Company, LLC (CBC), including China International Marine Containers (Group) Ltd (CIMC), have won a US court battle against Jiangxi Oxygen Plant Co., Ltd (JOPM) after the latter made counterfeit copies of CIMC’s gas tanks.

The permanent injunction was awarded against JOPM after it started manufacturing and distributing fake copies of the Chinese company’s T50 containers and exporting them to the US, thereby infringing patent ‘598.

Subsequently, the US district court in Texas ruled lawfully in favour of the patent owners’ claims and prohibited JOPM and all connected persons from any further acts of infringement, including contributory infringement or inducing others to infringe the patent.

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Other prohibited actions as dictated by the permanent injunction include JOPM directly or indirectly exporting, contributing to the export of, selling or importing any freight container or similar products to the US that infringe the ‘598 patent.

The patent was originally developed by CBC and then jointly owned later by CBC, GLI and CIMC. The assignments to CIMC took effect in January 2007. The Chinese corporation produces more than one thousand tanks per year from its facility in the North Pacific rim country and exports them globally.

CIMC’s T50 containers, which are designed according to the patent, have a capacity of 24,600 litres and a tare weight of 7,400kg – 18% lighter than regular tanks without the patent. The tanks are also zinc-lined to avoid contamination to contents.

Representatives from CBC explained that this victory will “motivate manufacturers to invest on new technology and research and development (R&D), and respect the intellectual property in the market. Patent owners retain the right to prosecution on purchasing and using these fake tanks and permanent injunctions help to regulate market behaviour and protect the interests of legitimate manufacturers.”