Australian mining equipment manufacturer Bradken has received notice of a patent infringement from former partner Esco regarding its new ground engaging tools (GET).
Bradken was formerly the distributer and manufacturer of Esco designed products in Australia for more than 50 years, however last year the partnership ended and the Australian company began manufacturing its own in-house designed GET, as Esco made its own way into the Australian mining market.
Now the Federal Court of Australia has sent Bradken a notification "alleging patent infringement on its new Get range for mining", according to the company.
"The claims relate to only a portion of Bradken's new GET product ranges and is not material, being less than 1% of Bradken's FY12 total sales."
It is "currently reviewing the claims and will actively defend all infringement allegations".
Esco's suit alleges that it breached six patents, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"The investments we've made in our intellectual property, including product innovations covered by our patents, differentiate ESCO products and provide superior performance for our customers compared to those of our competitors," Jon Owens, president of Engineered Products and senior vice president of ESCO Corporation said.
"Innovation is one of our greatest assets, and we intend to vigorously protect our intellectual property rights."
Esco will seek monetary recompense and order stopping Bradken from "continued acts of infringements".
The Australian manufacturer went on to say that the allegations will "in no way impede the ongoing development and roll-out of its new GET product ranges".