Not to be copied.
Unidrain gets tough with patent breakers
Published: 19 April, 2011
DENMARK: Danish plumbing manufacturer Unidrain has a patent on its unique wall flanges, which ensure easy installation of linear drains for bathrooms and wetrooms. Despite this, plumbing manufacturers in Europe and the US are copying Unidrain's products and infringing its patents.
This illegal infringement has resulted in the company preparing legal action against several of its competitors.
Since 2003, the Danish company said it has "set new standards in the plumbing industry with wall-mounted linear drains and wall flanges. A large number of international suppliers are breaching the copyright by producing wall flanges that are similar to ours, despite the fact that we have a patent on the flanges in Europe, China and the US".
According to Peter L Clause, Unidrain's managing director: "We are flattered that recognised manufacturers think our product is so good that they want to copy it. But, we’re the ones who have invented this unique wall flange, and we have to protect the standard of our product.
"The quality of the imitation products is often poor, with flanges made of plastic instead of stainless steel like the original."
All companies that have infringed on Unidrain's patent will now receive letters from the company's lawyers demanding that they recall all imitation products from the market.
The fact that so many suppliers are looking to Northern Europe when designing wall-mounted drains is no coincidence. "Our wall-mounted drain was the first of its kind, and many companies have been inspired by our solution because it’s original and ground-breaking," said Mr Clausen.
"Many have tried to produce alternatives to our drain over the years, and more firms are coming to the conclusion that only an integrated flange ensures an optimal, waterproof solution for the bathroom."
The flange makes it easier to install a wall-mounted drain correctly, avoiding water damage from faulty floor drains. Unidrain's product was developed by Danish architects and leading experts in wetroom technology.