November 2 - The European Patent Office has ruled in favour of Nooteboom's patent application for its Pendle-X Euro low-loader with excavator trough, after a ten-year judicial process.

Nooteboom director Toon de Smit, who is responsible for the manufacturer's patent applications, said that the news has ended a long period of uncertainty.

"While we were filing our application for the patent in 2005 we were already challenged: the low-loader with excavator trough was not thought to be unique and according to our competitors we could therefore not apply for a patent.

"The principle of an excavator trough and the concept of pendle axles have indeed been around for a while. But it is the combination of the two that is in fact unique and has not been seen before and this is what the appeal board of the European Patent Office pointed out in their verdict."