AKRON—Flexsys Americas L.P. has filed suit against four companies over alleged patent infringements relating to its 4-ADPA manufacturing process, used to make PPD antidegradants.
The U.S. unit of Netherland´s Flexsys N.V. sued South Korea´s Kumho Tire Co. Inc. and its Kumho Tire USA Inc. subsidiary; Kumho Petrochemical Co. Ltd.; China´s Sinorgchem Co. Ltd.; and Sovereign Chemical Co. of Akron for $20 million in damages. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
Flexsys alleges the defendants infringed upon U.S. patents covering a proprietary 4 aminodiphenylamine (4-ADPA) and its alkylated derivatives (PPDs). The company claims Sinorgchem and Kumho Petrochemical have used Flexsys´ 4-ADPA process to make products being imported into the U.S., and that Sovereign Chemical is importing and distributing those products.
The products are essential components in virtually every auto, truck and airplane tire sold in the U.S., according to Flexsys. Besides the U.S. patents, the firm said it holds corresponding patents in many nations that cover the same processes.
Sovereign declined comment pending a more detailed review of the suit.
Flexsys also alleges Kumho tires sold in the U.S. include those products. Kumho Tire said it won´t comment on pending litigation.