November 8, 2011
Novozymes wins another conflict against Danisco
Novozymes, a major manufacturer of industrial enzymes, has won a US trial wherein they will receive US$18.3 million payment from DuPont Co.'s Danisco unit due to patent infringement related to biofuel production.
Danisco, the biggest maker of food additives and second- largest industrial enzyme producer, was found to have wilfully infringed the patent, a finding that may raise the damages award, Bagsvaerd, Denmark-based Novozymes said in a statement. DuPont, which bought Danisco in June, said it plans to appeal.
Novozymes sued Copenhagen-based Danisco last year in federal court in Madison, Wisconsin, accusing the company of taking its technology on an alpha amylase enzyme that remains active in high temperatures.
US District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled in July that some Danisco products infringed the patent.
The jury rejected Danisco's arguments that the patent didn't adequately describe the technology in a way that let others replicate the invention. The jury said other products didn't use the invention.
"We are confident in our position that Novozymes's patent is invalid," Daniel Turner, a spokesman for Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont, said in an e-mail.
Danisco had paid Novozymes US$15.3 million in 2007 to settle a patent dispute over another enzyme used in ethanol production.