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Molins continues US patent fights

Molins, the cigarette machinery maker, is set to continue US court action that could cost it millions of pounds in two disputes over patent infringement. The company, which yesterday reported a 16 per cent profits rise, said provisions first made in 1992 would be kept intact under the final outcome.

Last month Molins lost an eight-year battle against several companies alleging infringement of patents on computer-aided manufacturing systems. However, the company was given the right to challenge the award of fees and costs. Peter Greenwood, managing director, would not disclose the level of the award against the company, nor the size of provisions.

In a separate case Caterpillar has filed a suit against Molins for $12.5m (£8.3m) in damages and fees over patent infringement. "The claim is without merit and will be vigorously contested,'' Mr Greenwood said.