August 24, 2007
Ajinomoto wins patent infringement lawsuit of feed-use lysine before The Hague
The Hague Patent Court in the Netherlands Aug 22 ordered Bio-chem Technology Group Company Ltd. (GBT), its three subsidiaries and GBT's European distributors to cease infringement in the Netherlands on two Ajinomoto patents relating to L-Lysine production.
Ajinomoto Co., Inc. (Japan) and its European subsidiary, Ajinomoto Eurolysine (France) started patent infringement proceedings against GBT and GBT's European distributors Helm AG and Helm Benelux NV with the Dutch Court in May 2006.
Besides awarding Ajinomoto's claims for patent infringement, the court also ordered GBT to pay damages to Ajinomoto for patent infringement in the past. The court has stayed proceedings regarding a third Ajinomoto patent in this field, pending opposition proceedings before the European Patent Court in Munich.
The Court of The Hague in the Netherlands ruled that the lysine manufactured by GBT group (China) and sold in the Netherlands infringes Ajinomoto's patents EP0733710 and EP0 733 712 for L-Lysine production. At the same time, the Court declared Ajinomoto's patents covering advanced technology for the production of lysine, to be valid.
Additionally, the Court's order enjoins defendants GBT and Helm with immediate effect to make, use, sell, offer to sell, import, trade or stock lysine infringing the patents.
Should the defendants GBT and Helm fail to properly comply with the order, they would have to pay Ajinomoto and Ajinomoto Eurolysine a penalty, as ordered by the court.
Meanwhile, GBT and Helm will have to recall infringing lysine that is already on the Dutch market, and they are expected to provide information on the infringing sales in the Netherlands.
While the court's decision is open to appeal, an appeal will not stay the enforceability of the decision.
For further information, please contact:
Ajinomoto Co., Inc. CSR & Public Communications Department