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Components | November 22, 2011

No disclaimer of liability for “har-flex” connectors

ERNI Electronics reserves the right to further legal steps against Harting.
ERNI Electronics has filed a suit against Harting before the District Court of Cologne on account of the imminent market launch of connectors which ERNI believes constituted an illegal product imitation. The basis of the suit was Harting’s announcement of autumn 2010 to market corresponding connectors under the product name “har-flex”. No manufacturer’s logo or other distinguishing marks whatsoever appeared on these connectors. Consequently, on the outside at least, these connectors could hardly be distinguished from the connectors from ERNI's SMC series. At the hearing before the District Court of Cologne, Harting declared that it would not be launching the connectors belonging to the case (without the manufacturer’s distinguishing marks). It would however be introducing connectors which – unlike those presented in autumn 2010 – would be clearly marked with the Harting logo. This removed the grounds for ERNI’s case and consequently the action was withdrawn. The withdrawal of the action does not mean, however, that ERNI could no longer take legal action against Harting on account of the distribution of “har-flex” products. In particular, there is no legal disclaimer of liability whatsoever for any of the Harting connectors from the “har-flex” series. ERNI will be observing critically how the “har-flex” products are placed on the market and make any further instigation of legal proceedings dependent on this. ERNI has also expressly communicated this to Harting. If therefore, on account of corresponding announcements on the market, the impression were to be conveyed that the “har-flex” products marked with the Harting logo had been disclaimed for liability and, with the withdrawal of the action, the legal dispute between ERNI and Harting on account of the “har-flex” connectors had been settled once and for all, this would be wrong.
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