The patent relates to the use of wide-ply board technology in the production of cores for the paper industry as used in Sonoco's M-Core Series.
The wide-ply board and its patented M-Line technology creates a core that has superior dynamic strength capabilities.
Karsten Kemmerling, sales director, Sonoco-Alcore Europe, told FoodProductionDaily, the ruling doesn’t affect the food industry too much.
“This technology goes into the paper mill industry so the ruling will more likely affect them. It is not directly going into any food applications. Our customers are paper mill customers and this technology is more relevant if it goes into the foam industry for foam food packaging,” he said.
“We now need to see how we align wide-ply board technology to the market and how we position ourselves against our European competitors.
Bringing technology to market
“We need to get back to normal after the court hearing and see how we approach things going forward. It’s a technology that brings advantages to the market but the fact we developed it and have a patent means we want to protect it and keep it open in regards to bringing the technology further to the market.”
As a result of the decision, which is final and cannot be appealed, the patent is confirmed to have constantly been in force since it was granted in 2002.
In other countries, the validity of the European patent has not been challenged to date. An opposition against the patent before the European Patent Office was rejected in 2009.
The combination of the wide-ply in-house manufactured coreboard and Sonoco Alcore's proprietary manufacturing technique give the M-Series Cores increased performance characteristics in the paper industry.