Peter Cunnane and his company, Cashels Engineering Ltd, brought proceedings against ProDig Attachments Ltd. Photograph: Bryan O'Brien
A High Court dispute over the alleged infringement of an inventor’s patent for a device for loading and cutting large plastic-wrapped bales of fodder for feeding farm animals has been settled following mediation.
Earlier this year Peter Cunnane and his company Cashels Engineering Ltd, of Aghamore, Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo, brought proceedings against ProDig Attachments Ltd of Newtown, Bagenalstown, Co Carlow. They alleged infringement of Mr Cunnane’s patent on his device that attaches to tractors or diggers to make feeding animals easier and quicker.
ProDig has marketed a device called the ProDig ProSlice that Mr Cunnane claimed infringed the patent on his device, which he filed for in 2012 and was granted four years later.
Mr Cunnane said in an affidavit that there have been previous alleged infringements of the patent by ProDig in relation to attachments, which he believed would not be considered a threat to his business given the volume of these products being marketed.
Mr Cunnane did not pursue legal proceedings as he said it did not seem worthwhile from a commercial point of view.
However, he said, in November 2021 the ProSlice launched and this represented “a very significant escalation of the defendant’s infractions”. The new device “even more closely resembles” Cashels’s products and the similarities are quite obvious when viewed side by side, he said.
Requests made to ProDig to cease the infringements were refused, he said.
Talks seeking to resolve the matter have been taking place since last July, when the case was entered into the fast-track Commercial Court.
Following successful talks Mr Justice Denis McDonald was told the case had been settled and could be struck out.