GBU Canada RootSpace Litigation Announcement (28 May 2021)
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GBU Canada RootSpace Litigation Announcement (28 May 2021).

GreenBlue Urban UK (then Greenleaf) pioneered the world’s first recycled plastic, load-bearing soil cell for urban tree planting called RootCell. After it was launched to the market in 2001, RootCell’s popularity grew at an unprecedented pace. Customers lauded the development as an excellent solution to solve the problem caused by tree roots damaging the urban hardscape, and simultaneously provide uncompacted soil volumes for roots to grow into.

From there, GreenBlue led the way with additional soil cell products, such as RootCell, RootCell2, and StrataCell. Ultimately, we combined our firm’s extensive knowledge and experience to design and produce the renowned RootSpace system.

After the launch of RootCell, a competitor (DeepRoot) entered the market and started using the concept of an interlocking plastic structure to protect the soil for tree planting and growth. Notably, DeepRoot focused extensive time and energy to seek patents with a broad scope. DeepRoot has since used its patents to have competitors remove unique products solely for its commercial gain.

Compared to other systems, the RootSpace system offers enhanced load-bearing, modularity for shipping, installation versatility, ability to connect to aeration enhancers such as GreenBlue’s AirDeck and multi-direction interconnectedness of all parts. No other product has achieved all these features to date.

St Paul’s London, Early RootCell project planted in 2003

Unfortunately, despite these differences and RootSpace being recognized as being patentable, a trial Judge in Canada has ordered that we not supply the current configuration of RootSpace in Canada until the expiry of DeepRoots’ patents.

In order to comply with the court’s injunction, GreenBlue is introducing the RootSpace Airform package, an innovation developed for quicker installation.  The unique Airform Panel slightly reduces the available soil volume, and thus allows RootSpace to be sold in Canada following the court’s decision.  As well, the original RootSpace continues to be sold to customers in other countries outside Canada.  All our other urban tree pit products and site furnishings continue to be available in Canada and worldwide.

GreenBlue will continue to introduce innovative new products and solutions that foster optimal soil conditions for urban tree root growth and sustainability.