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Hymmen Says Digital Print Patent Ruling Bars Sale of Barberán Jetmaster in Germany

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November 30, 2021 | Bill Esler

Dusseldorf, Germany—Hymmen, the Bielefeld, Germany-based supplier of floor manufacturing systems, says it won in its long-running digital printing patent infringement against Barberán S.A., based in Barcelona, Spain.

Both firms exhibit at the International Woodworking Fair, selling conventional and digital imaging and finishing systems for flooring and panel. Hymmen says the ruling was handed down in an appeals case by the court in Düsseldorf on November 25, 2021, and that it affirmed that Barberán equipment infringes on Hymmen’s digital printing patent EP2313281. Separately, Hymmen says the European Patent Office also confirmed the validity of the patent during earlier proceedings.

“As a result of the Court’s first instance decision, Barberán has been forbidden to offer and sell the Jetmaster’ series and any other infringing digital printing equipment using Hymmen’s patented technology in Germany,” Hymmen said in a statement. “This is an important victory that confirms the strength of Hymmen’s patented technology. Hymmen continues to undertake the appropriate legal action against all infringements to safeguard its groundbreaking digital printing and digital embossing technologies patents and technologies around the world.”

In recent weeks Hymmen reported that it lost the first part of its digital wood printing patent case against Barberan in Düsseldorf Regional Court, and that it appealed the decision. To bolster its appeal, Hymmen added a third infringement claim against Barberán, this one regarding a digital embossing patent (No. EP 3 415 316 (DE)), as it awaited judgement on a second disputed patent. Hymmen introduced the latest iteration of that technology, DLE Plus textured digital finishing, during IWF Connect in 2020.

In January 2021, Hymmen granted exclusive licensing rights to Belgian firm i4F for all Hymmen’s digital printing patents and technologies for flooring production, including its award-winning Digital Lacquer Embossing (DLE) technology. i4F’s comprehensive digital printing portfolio already included market leading technologies from Classen, Kronospan, and Benchwick.

Hymmen won an Interzum Red Dot Award for its patented DLE technology in 2019. Hymmen estimates more than 80 percent of digitally printed flooring around the world is produced using its technologies.

Overall, Hymmen says its extensive research and development work so far has led to more than 35 patent applications in the field of digital printing, a large number of which have already been granted. “Hymmen continues to undertake the legal action against all infringements to safeguard its groundbreaking digital printing and digital embossing technologies patents and technologies around the world,” the company says in a statement.

Hymmen predominantly deals with industrial production technology for the production of board materials or the surface finishing of board or roll materials. With 200 employees worldwide, Hymmen works on investment projects in furniture, flooring, decorative Laminates, composites, and technical laminates. The offered technologies include industrial press and calender lines, liquid coating and lacquering, as well as industrial digital printing lines and automation & control technology.

Since 2008 Hymmen has put its focus of R&D on industrial digital printing. With more than 45 operating digital printing lines worldwide and a cumulative sales volume of more than €100 million in digital printing lines it may be seen as market leader in the woodworking industry. The latest developments in digital printing include process optimizations in decor printing with UV-curing inks as well as the digital structuring (Hymmen DLE plus).

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