DuPont Announces Second Settlement Over Refrigerant Patent Infringement

DuPont Fluoroproducts has reached an out-of-court settlement with a major European fluorochernicals manufacturer over alleged infringement of DuPont patents for certain hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) blend refrigerants. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. According to DuPont, the European manufacturer allegedly was engaged in inappropriate export of high-value HFC blend refrigerants into the Asia-Pacific market. The infringement alleged by DuPont was primarily focused on the manufacturer exceeding the scope of its authorization to manufacture, market and sell DuPont[TM] Suva[R] and HFC 404a. This is the second out-of-court settlement that DuPont has reached this year over HFC refrigerant blend patent infringement. An earlier settlement, announced February 20, also involved a major European fluorochemicals manufacturer. "DuPont is committed to protecting its global patent estate for high-value HFC Suva refrigerant blends, and will continue to investigate and take necessary actions to that end," said Mark S. Baunchalk, global business manager -refrigerants, for DuPont Fluoroproducts. "As use of these HFC blend products increases with the transition away from HCFCs, we will continue to be diligent in protecting our intellectual assets and promoting sound business practices." In 2001, DuPont initiated a patent stewardship program within its distribution network in the U.S., Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, and notified the network of possible unauthorized manufacture, import, marketing, and sales of certain refrigerant blends.

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