Benchmark Hlgs PLC - Successful defence of patent infringement in Asia

The IP&IT court in Bangkok, Thailand has ruled that MTI infringed both patents, has ordered MTI to cease using Benchmark's patented technology and has awarded damages in Benchmark's favour, which may yet be subject to appeal.

These patents relate to the Company's market leading Artemia hatching and enrichment technologies, an important element of its advanced nutrition solutions. Following a period of dialogue with MTI, during which the Company requested MTI to cease and desist from using its patented technology, the Group filed a complaint at the IP&IT court in Bangkok in 2017. The summary judgement in favour of Benchmark was announced on 22nd November 2018.

The Company actively protects intellectual property rights, and this success demonstrates the robustness of Benchmark's patents and its ability to defend them globally in key markets.

Benchmark has a strong patent portfolio across products and processes in all of its three main divisions, which is the result of its advanced innovation, research and development and associated investment over the years. The Company's portfolio with 37 families and 221 patents is well balanced, with a mixture of robust granted applications to protect current products and new patent applications to support the business in the future.

Commenting on the Court ruling, Malcolm Pye, CEO, said:

"We are pleased the IP&IT court in Bangkok has ruled in our favour, vindicating the intellectual property which underpins the value of our innovative solutions and future product pipeline. Robust intellectual property protection will continue to be a core strategic area of focus for the Group."

Athene Blakeman, Group Legal Counsel, said:

"Benchmark robustly protects its intellectual property assets across the world and proactively monitors the market and our competitors for infringement. This intellectual property has been developed through many years of investment in cutting edge R&D and, while Benchmark strongly supports open and fair competition, we will take all necessary action, including initiating legal procedures as in this case, where we identify unfair infringement of our intellectual property."