Lauds Foundry Equipment (Pty) Ltd right of reply statement

Lauds Foundry Equipment (Pty) Ltd (Lauds) would like to clarify our position with regards to the legal situation relating to a court case between ourselves and Omega Foundry Machinery Ltd (Omega).

Lauds has been operating since 2003 with our own designs, which originated from Davcor Engineering. Lauds had a working relationship with Omega (as agent/distributor), commencing in 2007 and terminating in 2012. During this contract period we were never issued with a single engineering drawing related to Omega’s proprietary designs and we were not authorised to manufacture Omega equipment. We purely distributed and commissioned Omega equipment, which was manufactured and shipped from the UK to RSA. Following the termination, Lauds immediately reverted to our original foundry equipment and radically modernised our range.

In spite of this, Omega brought an application against us accusing us of copyright infringements and passing off our foundry equipment as theirs. It was our intention to go to court to prove these allegations to be untrue.

In 2016 a default judgement was awarded since it was found that Lauds’ previous attorney failed to act timeously in regard to discovering certain documents required by Omega. This caused our defence to be struck out from the court record, resulting in a default judgement being obtained against us, without our knowledge.

To clarify: A default judgement is a judgement that is obtained without any evidence being led and is given when there is no defence before the court, or the defence has been struck out.

The default judgement that was obtained, in short, stated the following about Omega’s copyright;
1) That Lauds is not allowed to infringe on Omega’s copyright
2) That Lauds is restrained from competing unlawfully against Omega
3) That Lauds refrain from passing off any of Omega’s works as our own

We take exception to any statement that Omega has won the court case proving that we have infringed on copyright, as this is a misrepresentation. We wish to make it perfectly clear that at no stage did we infringe on Omega’s copyright, or was there ever a court order made that stated that we infringed on their copyright. Any statement to the contrary is a total misrepresentation of the court order that they obtained.

As Lauds has never infringed on Omega’s copyright, we have been appealing the default judgement against us – not because of the default judgement – but because we wanted our day in court to show before a judge with sufficient evidence being led, that there was no infringement of their copyrights by ourselves at any time.

Subsequent to the default judgement being taken in 2016, it has been Lauds who has been leading a legal battle to have the judgement rescinded, for the sole reason that we wish to prove that these allegations are untrue.

The default judgement states that we are not to infringe on Omega’s copyright and we emphatically state that we have no problem adhering to the default judgement as we have never infringed on Omega’s copyright, and we currently have no product that will infringe on their copyright, nor will we ever have. In addition to the above we can also state that at no stage did we unlawfully compete with them or are we unlawfully competing with Omega and we are not offering any product or spare parts, which is in accordance with Omega’s proprietary material and/or copyright.

If Omega believes that we are infringing on their copyright we put them to the proof thereof, which is the outcome we have been striving towards for the last five years.

Statement by Kevin van Niekerk, CEO of Lauds Foundry Equipment, assisted by Wayne Teich Attorneys.