Lift makers Gray, Stertil agree on settlement

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Gray Manufacturing Co. Inc., Stertil BV, Stertil-Koni U.S.A. Inc. and Stertil ALM Corp. on Thursday, Sept. 8, announced they have entered into a settlement agreement and patent license agreement, ending a longstanding lawsuit between the companies related to patents owned by Gray Manufacturing in connection with wireless coordinated lift systems or wireless mobile column lifts.

The companies say that while terms of the agreements are confidential, the Stertil entities recognize the validity and enforceability of the Gray patents issued through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. The companies say the resolution of the disputes between the parties allows the Stertil entities to produce, market and sell the protected wireless lifts while allowing Gray to be compensated under a license agreement through one-time payments and ongoing royalties.

Gray Manufacturing President Stet Schanze says he is pleased with the agreements, “We have been in protracted litigation and patent re-examinations with Stertil BV and Stertil-Koni U.S.A. Inc. for several years, which has not been productive to the business model of either side,” Schanze says. “I am pleased that we were able to reach a reasonable business solution with them, which allows us to both get back to our strengths – selling quality lift products into our respective markets.”

Schanze says the agreement will permit Stertil BV and Stertil-Koni U.S.A. to manufacture and sell product covered under patents obtained and owned by Gray, while allowing Gray to receive validation, appropriate compensation and royalties for its patent property rights, while putting an end to all litigation and future challenges regarding the respective patents.

Stertil BV President Ulbe Bijlsma says he also is pleased to have reached a reasonable business solution with Gray that allows both parties to put this matter behind them. “Now Stertil can concentrate again on what we do best – developing, manufacturing and selling quality products to our many customers,” Bijlsma says.