Lectra, the world leader in integrated technology solutions dedicated to industries using soft materials − fabrics, leather, technical textiles and composite materials − announces that a German competitor’s machine was declared as infringing a Lectra’s patent protecting a solution for cutting one-piece-woven (OPW) airbags in Germany.

The July 2015 final court ruling stated that the competitor’s OPWairbag-cutting machine makes use of Lectra patent EP 1 321 839’s inventive technical teaching, thus legally acknowledging that the machine infringes the patent. The Lectra patent describes an OPW-airbag-cutting machine as integrating three elements: a cut-on-the-fly cutting system for cutting patterns in sheet material; a vision system for locating on-the-fly landmarks in sheet material; and a control system that allows a pattern to be cut at the same time as the vision system locates the next landmark, while the sheet material continues to progress along the cutting table.

The German Federal High Court confirmed Lectra’s patent as valid in September 2014. The patent runs until December, 2022 and covers Canada, China, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Japan, Portugal, Spain, South Korea and the US. Lectra considers that any use of an infringing machine in these countries violates its patent rights, and the company will use all legal means to have these rights respected.

Innovation is an integral part of Lectra’s DNA. Over the last ten years, the company has invested €180 million in research and development, which represents 9% of its revenues. As a result of this commitment, Lectra’s dedicated airbag-cutting solutions guarantee quality, safety and profit margins, allowing unparalleled productivity and offering sustainable competitive advantage. They are used by the largest suppliers in the automotive industry.