Following appeals by ABT-Trac, Quantum Control Bv, Sleipner Motor As and Naiad, the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich, Germany, has assigned the electric fin stabiliser patent to CMC Marine.

Announced at the beginning of October, the hearing was called to examine the appeal against the release to CMC Marine in April 2012 of a European patent covering a "fin stabiliser actuator electrically-operated" product, commercially called Stabilis Electra. The appeal verdict follows and confirms the earlier EPO decision that ended the first opposition meeting held in April 2014. CMC Marine is thus confirmed as the only European company that can use the same electric actuator technology developed for the Electra Stabilis series, which is mainly intended for use at anchor.

“This verdict, coming from the highest European patent authority, definitively entitling us with the patent for the electric fin stabiliser invention, is a further confirmation that when in 2008 we began producing the first prototypes, we were actually following the right vision,” said Alessandro Cappiello, CEO of CMC Marine, after the verdict was announced.

CMC Marine electric acutator.

Based in Tuscany, Italy, CMC Marine launched the Stabilis Electra in 2009 with a first delivery to the Sanlorenzo shipyard. Assigned the EPO no. 2172394, the product provides advantages over analogous hydraulic systems with higher actuation speeds and, when at anchor, better control of fin acceleration/deceleration phases thanks to the lower inertia of the electrical drive.

The CMC range of electric stabilisers has since grown to cover 27 models for planing and displacement hulls up to 60m. In 2013 the company also patented its Dia-Log control software (Italian Patent no. TO2012A000472), and launched the new SE Integrated System on the market.

The improved processing capacity of Dia-Log allows the integration of SE stabilisation with other on-board systems supplied by CMC Marine, such as the Dualis Electra thruster series. A single control station installed on the bridge provides obvious advantages in terms of use and systems management, including greater efficiency and a reduction in power consumption.

Set up in 2005, CMC Marine now claims a leadership position in the domestic Italian market and a 10 per cent share of the global market.

“Ten years ago in CMC Marine there were only three associates and we had a turnover of roughly one million euros,” says Cappiello. “Now, between employees and associates, we exceed thirty people, even more if we want to include those working in the service centres in Italy and abroad. The turnover has increased tenfold too, and the same can be said of our customer portfolio."

Alessandro Cappiello.

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