MANITOWOC, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Manitowoc Company, Inc. (NYSE: MTW) today announced the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) ruled in its favor in its patent infringement and trade secrets misappropriation lawsuit against Sany Heavy Industries and Sany America (collectively “Sany”). The CAFC’s October 11, 2016 ruling summarily affirmed the United States International Trade Commission (“ITC”) April 16, 2015 Final Determination and Cease and Desist Order against Sany in Certain Crawler Cranes and Components (Inv. No. 337-TA-887). The CAFC specifically noted that no further opinion was necessary.
“Manitowoc is extremely pleased with the CAFC’s ruling which also affirms the ITC’s decision. Aggressively protecting our proprietary intellectual property creates value for our customers, shareholders and employees. Innovation drives Manitowoc’s product strategy. Our Variable Position Counterweight (VPC) technology is just one example of our ongoing commitment to being an industry leader,” commented Barry L Pennypacker, president and chief executive officer of The Manitowoc Company, Inc.
The CAFC’s October 11, 2016 ruling upholds all of the determinations from the ITC’s April 16, 2015 Final Determination. The Final Determination was issued in connection with the ITC’s investigation of Sany’s conduct based upon a complaint filed by Manitowoc Cranes, LLC, which alleged that Sany had violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act. The ITC’s determinations included that at least one Sany crane product infringed one of Manitowoc’s patents and that six trade secrets of Manitowoc were both protectable as trade secrets and misappropriated. As a result of those determinations, the ITC issued a limited exclusion order that prohibits importation into the U.S. by Sany of cranes (a) that infringe one of Manitowoc’s patents or (b) that use any of six of Manitowoc’s trade secrets for a period of ten years.
The ITC determinations which were upheld by the CAFC concluded, “Sany actively encouraged misappropriation of Manitowoc’s trade secrets and knew the trade secrets were acquired by improper means.” Specifically, “Sany had reason to know that the Manitowoc trade secrets were improperly obtained, specifically via a breach in . . . confidentiality obligations” owed Manitowoc by its former Vice President, John Lanning. After noting how Mr. Lanning described Manitowoc’s “VPC technology as ‘game changing’ and urged tight confidentiality,” the ITC found “that the details of the VPC concept at Sany came directly from Mr. Lanning,” who “Sany hired for [his] expertise.”
In addition to the exclusion order, the ITC issued a cease and desist order that prohibits Sany America from importing, selling, marketing, advertising, or distributing cranes that were manufactured using any of the six Manitowoc trade secrets found to be misappropriated.
About The Manitowoc Company, Inc
Founded in 1902, The Manitowoc Company, Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of cranes and lift solutions with manufacturing, distribution, and service facilities in 20 countries. Manitowoc is recognized as one of the premier innovators and providers of crawler cranes, tower cranes, and mobile cranes for the heavy construction industry, which are complemented by a slate of industry-leading aftermarket product support services. In 2015, Manitowoc’s revenues totaled $1.9 billion, with over half of these revenues generated outside the United States.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release includes "forward-looking statements" intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on the current expectations of the management of the company and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements typically containing words such as "intends," "expects," "anticipates," "targets," "estimates," and words of similar import. By their nature, forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or results and involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future. There are a number of factors that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially include, among others:
- unanticipated changes in revenues, margins, costs, and capital expenditures;
- the ability to significantly improve profitability;
- the ability to direct resources to those areas that will deliver the highest returns;
- uncertainties associated with new product introductions, the successful development and market acceptance of new and innovative products that drive growth;
- the ability to focus on the customer, new technologies, and innovation;
- the ability to focus and capitalize on product quality and reliability;
- the ability to increase operational efficiencies across Manitowoc’s business segment and to capitalize on those efficiencies;
- the ability to capitalize on key strategic opportunities and the ability to implement Manitowoc’s long-term initiatives;
- the ability to generate cash and manage working capital consistent with Manitowoc’s stated goals;
- the ability to convert order and order activity into sales and the timing of those sales;
- pressure of financing leverage;
- matters impacting the successful and timely implementation of ERP systems;
- foreign currency fluctuations and their impact on reported results and hedges in place with Manitowoc;
- changes in raw material and commodity prices;
- unexpected issues associated with the quality of materials and components sourced from third parties and the resolution of those issues;
- unexpected issues associated with the availability and viability of suppliers;
- the risks associated with growth;
- geographic factors and political and economic conditions and risks;
- actions of competitors;
- changes in economic or industry conditions generally or in the markets served by Manitowoc;
- unanticipated changes in customer demand, including changes in global demand for high-capacity lifting equipment; changes in demand for lifting equipment in emerging economies, and changes in demand for used lifting equipment;
- global expansion of customers;
- the replacement cycle of technologically obsolete cranes;
- the ability of Manitowoc's customers to receive financing;
- efficiencies and capacity utilization of facilities;
- issues relating to the ability to timely and effectively execute on manufacturing strategies, including issues relating to new plant start-ups, plant closings, and/or consolidations of existing facilities and operations;
- issues related to workforce reductions and subsequent rehiring;
- work stoppages, labor negotiations, labor rates, and temporary labor costs;
- government approval and funding of projects and the effect of government-related issues or developments;
- the ability to complete and appropriately integrate restructurings, consolidations, acquisitions, divestitures, strategic alliances, joint ventures, and other strategic alternatives;
- realization of anticipated earnings enhancements, cost savings, strategic options and other synergies, and the anticipated timing to realize those savings, synergies, and options;
- unanticipated issues affecting the effective tax rate for the year;
- unanticipated changes in the capital and financial markets;
- risks related to actions of activist shareholders;
- changes in laws throughout the world;
- natural disasters disrupting commerce in one or more regions of the world;
- risks associated with data security and technological systems and protections;
- acts of terrorism; and
- risks and other factors cited in Manitowoc's filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
Manitowoc undertakes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements only speak as of the date on which they are made. Information on the potential factors that could affect the company's actual results of operations is included in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015.