Justia Patents Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Environmental Law
Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC v. Willowood, LLC
Syngenta sued Willowood, a Hong Kong company that sells fungicide to its Oregon-based affiliate, for infringement of patents directed to a fungicide compound and its manufacturing processes and infringement of copyrights for detailed product labels that provide directions for use, storage, and disposal, plus first-aid instructions and environmental, physical, and chemical hazard warnings. The district court dismissed the copyright claims as precluded by the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), 7 U.S.C. 135 and granted-in-part Syngenta’s summary judgment motion with respect to patent infringement. After a jury trial, the court entered a defense judgment on the patent claims. The Federal Circuit affirmed-in-part, reversed-in-part, and vacated in part. The district court did not provide an adequate analysis of the potential conflict between FIFRA and the Copyright Act. Because FIFRA does not, on its face, require a “me-too” registrant to copy the label of a registered product, FIFRA only conflicts with the Copyright Act to the extent that some particular element of Syngenta’s label is both protected under copyright doctrines and necessary for the expedited approval of Willowood’s generic pesticide. The court erred by imposing a single-entity requirement on the performance of a patented process under 35 U.S.C. 271(g); practicing a patented process abroad does not trigger liability under section 271(g) in the same manner that practicing a patented process domestically does under section 271(a). View "Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC v. Willowood, LLC" on Justia Law
Arkema, Inc. v. Honeywell Int’l, Inc.
Before the mid-2000s, automobile manufacturers used a refrigerant called R-134a for automobile air conditioners. In 2006 the European Union enacted regulations requiring automobiles to use refrigerants with low “global warming potential.” The U.S. has not adopted similar regulations, but U.S. and foreign automobile manufacturers are both transitioning to 1234yf, which has a low global warming potential, and has become “remarkably successful,” according to Honeywell. Both Arkema and Honeywell wish to supply the industry with 1234yf, and both have invested substantial resources in its production. Arkema built a manufacturing facility in France and plans to build another facility to meet growing demand. Honeywell has a plant in New York and is developing a larger facility in Louisiana. Honeywell owns a number of patents relating to 1234yf. Arkema sought a declaratory judgment that by entering into contracts to supply 1234yf, it would not incur liability as an indirect infringer under the patents. The district court concluded that there was no justiciable controversy. The Federal Circuit reversed to allow Arkema to supplement. View "Arkema, Inc. v. Honeywell Int'l, Inc." on Justia Law