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Al-ko Secures Legal Success Over Bulldog Security Products

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AL-KO Kober, the market leading manufacturer of caravan and motorhome chassis and accessory products, has been successful in its legal action against BULLDOG Security Products for infringement of patent rights of the AL-KO Secure Wheel Lock product.

The two companies agreed an out of court settlement that requires Bulldog to remove the Bulldog Max Wheel Lock product and all its variants which incorporate AL-KO’s protected technology from sale and to cease marketing the product with immediate effect. The Bulldog product has been historically sold with the intention of utilising the AL-KO Secure Receiver, which forms an integral part of the security system used by the patented product and which is supplied directly to caravan manufacturers by AL-KO Kober.

AL-KO had taken the necessary steps to prevent the use of the Bulldog Max product with the AL-KO Receiver by fitting a grub screw inside the threaded receiver post, only for Bulldog to produce a “removal tool” for users to remove the grub screw. As a result AL-KO stepped up their legal approach to stop this from occurring.

Barry Sharratt, Managing Director, of AL-KO Kober UK expressed his satisfaction at the outcome by commenting:

“The action has been successful and protects the innovation contained in this product and the expectation that we will continue to innovate new products for the touring caravan industry. The agreement by Bulldog to remove its product from the market is a resounding success for AL-KO, who as a company, has invested heavily in new product development, especially in security products that provide the highest level of theft deterrent available for caravans. It is unjustified for a company to try and take a commercial advantage on the back of someone else’s investment, and we are ultimately pleased with the outcome”.

“AL-KO Secure remains the most secure theft deterrent available for caravans and continues to pass the annual rigorous testing procedures to the DIAMOND standard carried out by Sold Secure to ensure that the AL-KO Secure Wheel Lock receives the highest level of certification possible for this type of product”.

“As a result of this successful action, AL-KO will now no longer fit the grub screw into the AL-KO Secure Receiver for future orders although some existing stock of Caravans will still have the grub screw inserted”.

The AL-KO Secure Wheel Lock is the market leading DIAMOND rated security solution for caravans. The wheel specific lock stops the wheel from rotating effectively and prevents the caravan from being towed away. The current recommended retail price for the wheel lock compact kit is approximately £215.99.

More information about the AL-KO Secure Wheel Lock can be found on the company’s website at www.al-ko.co.uk

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63 answers to this question

Posted

£215.99 is a lot of money for a set of locks - Why so expensive?

To be honest means I would never buy them and would go for a more traditional wheel lock

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Posted

Tim,

Thanks for your post. £215.99 is the recommended retail price for the AL-KO Secure Wheel Lock. The price reflects the amount of investment put into the design and continued development of the product to ensure it remains the most effective theft deterrent available.

AL-KO Secure is tested continually by Sold Secure to ensure that it maintains the highest level of theft deterrent for any type of caravan wheel lock and as a result a lot of Caravan Insurance companies provide a generous discount against your yearly premium. In some cases it can be as much 20%. Therefore saving you a significant amount on those insurance premiums each year.

Kind regards,

Paul Jones

Marketing Manager

AL-KO Kober Limited

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Posted

looking at it another way - manufacturers are fitting something to new caravans that you can't use unless you pay a further £215.... - with a saving on insurance that may take longer than the probable ownership of the van to recoup....

I wonder if the alko receiver/lock including keys should become a cost option on new vans.

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Posted

Ian

That is my issue with this

£215 would take at a few years to get any pay back on Insurance discounts

However Paul thanks for taking the time to respond

regards

Tim

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Posted

Ian,

A lot of manufacturers fit AL-KO Secure as standard on some of their ranges and on those ranges that dont have it as standard most offer it as an optional extra.

Regards,

Paul

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Posted

AL-KO Secure is tested continually by Sold Secure to ensure that it maintains the highest level of theft deterrent for any type of caravan wheel lock and as a result a lot of Caravan Insurance companies provide a generous discount against your yearly premium. In some cases it can be as much 20%. Therefore saving you a significant amount on those insurance premiums each year.

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Posted

£215.99 is a lot of money for a set of locks - Why so expensive?

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Posted

"BULLDOG MAX PLUS WHEEL CLAMP

one size fits all caravans with factorys fitted receiver.

Easy fit- no need for accurate wheel alignment or jacking

prevents wheel rotation and removal

light weight- just 1.9kg

rubber backed disc prevents damage to wheel

Approved lock

covers wheel nuts

highly visible

insurance approved"

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Posted

:wine:

My van came with the AL-KO lock as standard (and a Tracker !) - having said that I wouldn't have paid the RRP for it if it didn't ! It seems to me that insurance companies don't really want to give us reasonable discounts for reducing THEIR risk ........

:wine::wine::wine:

:England:

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Posted

According to numerous post on this and other forums, people with twin axles have a lot of difficulty with alighment and have reverted back to wheel clamps which are easier to fit. I cannot fit it as it means crawling around in the dirt to align it so woudln't bother if I had it. Opinion formed after watching some one trying to fit said lock and then giving up in disgust after about half and hour. I guess it is okay for storage but difficult on a twin when touring, however a step in the right direction.

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Posted

This is my thoughts - my van is on the drive which is level and the two receivers do not line up!

I for one will not be buying one and will go for a standard wheel lock or even a chain and padlock - as secure and easier to fit

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Posted

not sure if this applies to all caravan insurance, but we get a discount for having any kind of wheel clamp/security device on and you dont get a bigger discount for any particular type, just like the discount for secure casoa storage,when i asked the question about discounts for secure storage i was told that there is no extra discount from one type or the other be it standard or gold. It is just a standard discounted amount

Even though i have a 5th wheel which is harder to steal anyway it is still a caravan so I have to have relevent insurance

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Posted

I got an ALKO lock with my Bailey - First time out set up on flat hardstanding in the sun no problem - Second time muddy field on a slope, pouring down with rain in the dark with temp at 3c. Gave up, so invalid insurance. The ALKO is not fit for purpose, no way am I going to play with jacking up the caravan . Could you imagine someone selling you a car and saying when you park it you need to jack it up to lock it..

So I have purchased a Full stop excalibur receiver wheel clamp, now that’s innovative. However if I knew this was happening I would have bought the Bulldog.

This situation feels a bit like computers and Microsoft - because they make the Operating system (the Chassis) they then tried to take out the small innovative software development companies (security, stabiliser manufactures). Unfortunately monopolies tend to result in lack of choice and innovation, as well as increased charges due to no competition. Shame on you ALKO

Kevin

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Posted

According to numerous post on this and other forums, people with twin axles have a lot of difficulty with alighment

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Posted

:goodpostingsign:

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Posted

Insurance regs state that on a twin axle, BOTH of these locks have to be fitted on the same side of the van.

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Posted

My insurance on my twin stipulates nothing specific, just there must be some form of security on the van.

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Posted

As it is your caravan paid for with your money you worked hard for and you weren't given the option of having the Alko fitted or not, why can't you have freedom of choice in deciding whether to use a Alko or Bulldog lock? After all it is only the receiver that is being utilised.

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Posted

As it is your caravan paid for with your money you worked hard for and you weren't given the option of having the Alko fitted or not, why can't you have freedom of choice in deciding whether to use a Alko or Bulldog lock? After all it is only the receiver that is being utilised.

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Posted

My insurance on my twin stipulates nothing specific, just there must be some form of security on the van.

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Posted

But surely the Bulldog version infringes the intellectuall copyright of the Alko.

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Posted

But surely the Bulldog version infringes the intellectual copyright of the Alko.

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Posted

I fully agree with Al-ko's rights to protect its intellectual property -- in this case the wheel lock...

However -- as I have reiterated many times here - in these forums -- I cannot get on with and use successfully the wheel lock.. and a I have also stated

-- mine now sits on the garage shelf !!

I did try and was successful with the now apparently "pirated" Bull Dog lock when id was shown to me on a recent rally..

I was considering buying one..

Now that opportunity - it seems may be denied to me by this action..

I was wondering though - that there must be thousands out there -- would I be committing any sort of "intellectual theft" by purchasing and using one.. or should I pay some usage dues to Al-ko for using their ideas??

Maurice

PS Nice to see you in these forums Paul -- are you still the Marketing Manager at AL-KO Kober Limited :thumbsup:

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Posted

Thanks for all your posts. It is interesting to get feedback on this subject.

We offer the receiver to the caravan manufacturer so that they can then offer the AL-KO Secure either as a standard fit item or alternatively as an optional extra to be included at the point of purchasing the caravan, therefore potentially reducing the cost of purchasing AL-KO Secure. If the receiver isnt fitted to the caravan, our service centres or dealers will charge for the AL-KO Secure Plus Kit and then add on installation charges - all adding significantly to the cost of the product.

AL-KO Secure was developed to help in the fight against caravan theft and to this day is still the most secure anti-theft deterrent available for caravans. By taking the action that we have, to protect the product, we are indeed protecting the massive amount of investment made to engineer this product.

The Bulldog product seeked to utilise a protected part of the system, i.e. the receiver, that was designed, developed and paid for by AL-KO. Quite frankly it is unreasonable (in our view) for them to make a commercial gain on the back of someone elses hard work and investment. Product development costs for a product like AL-KO Secure can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds - when you consider the costs of machinery to produce these components etc etc. These costs were not met by Bulldog so why should they benefit?

Had Bulldog provided their own solution in which to lock their product to secure the caravan it would have been more expensive to purchase. The fact that they tried to piggy back the AL-KO product - drastically reduced any product development and manufacturing costs to them and gives you an indication as to why they can charge less for their product.

The Bulldog Max product had not been tested by Sold Secure and therefore, if caravan insurance cover required that the vehicle have a Sold Secure approved wheel lock fitted, the actual cover could be invalid.

I hope this goes some way to answering some of the points raised.

Kind regards,

Paul Jones

Marketing Manager

AL-KO Kober Limited

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Posted

any comment on the problems for TA vans?

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