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Fipronil Litigation Takes Pair of Significant Turns

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Perimeter use patents and manufacturing process patents at the center of latest legal developments.

PCT Magazine | March 21, 2013

On Wednesday, March 20, two significant developments in the pest management industry’s most widely watched litigation proceedings occurred:

•    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., affirmed a ruling by U.S. District Judge William Osteen Jr. that said Makhteshim Agan Group/Control Solutions’ Taurus SC does not infringe on two of BASF’s patents, commonly referred to as ‘010 and ‘743, aka the “perimeter use patents.” [Click here to read the disposition].

•    BASF filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Makhteshim of North America, Control Solutions and Do It Yourself Pest Control in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The patent at issue in this case is U.S. Patent 5,618,945, which is different than the two patents mentioned previously. That patent is in regards to fipronil manufacturing process-related patents.

Perimeter Use Patents. In the “perimeter use patents” case, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruling read, in part, “Because the district court correctly construed the claims of the patents, and because under the correct construction MANA’s accused product does not infringe, we affirm,” wrote Circuit Judges Reyna, Bryson and Wallach. This ruling was in regards to an appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina in No. 10-CV-0276, Judge William L. Osteen, Jr.

“BASF has maintained longstanding allegations beginning in April 2010, of patent infringement against MANA and CSI in regards to the Taurus SC brand.  Both in the district and the appeal cases throughout the last three years, MAI has been favored in the Court ruling which determined that they do not infringe the claims of any patent,” MANA said in a press release.

“The Federal Circuit decision on March 20, 2013 finally puts to rest any question of whether the Taurus SC product infringes upon BASF or its patent holdings,” the press release continued.

Manufacturing Process Patents.
In the “manufacturing process patent” lawsuit filed by BASF in the U.S. District Court, BASF says Makhteshim of North America, Control Solutions and Do It Yourself Pest Control are violating BASF patent rights in the manufacture and sale of fipronil-based termiticides/insecticides.

“BASF has identified certain chemical impurities in Taurus SC, the fipronil-based termiticide produced and marketed by Control Solutions, Inc. that clearly establish that the MANA/CSI product was manufactured using the process protected by the ‘945 patent,” BASF said in a press release.

“Intellectual property is the cornerstone of our innovation-based marketplace,” said Jan Buberl, director of Specialty Products, BASF North American Crop Protection.  “Improper activity that undermines patent protection laws is unfair to those who act properly and lawfully.”

PCT will have additional coverage of this important industry-related litigation.

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Related:

BASF press release

Makhteshim Agan Group/Control Solutions press release.

Bloomberg News coverage



 

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