A patent infringement complaint by Flexsys America L.P. has gone to the International Trade Commission after an administrative law judge ruled partly in Flexsys' favor.
Judge Paul J. Luckern found in his Feb. 17 ruling that Sinorgchem Co., Shandong, of Shandong, China, violated Flexsys' patent rights by making the rubber antidegradant 6PPD and its feedstock chemical 4-ADPA without Flexsys' permission.
Also, Luckern ruled that Sovereign Chemical Co., Sinorgchem's U.S. sales representative, violated Flexsys' rights by importing Sinorgchem's 6PPD to the U.S. and selling it there. He ruled that both companies had violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as Flexsys had claimed.
However, Luckern found that another defendant, Korea Kumho Petrochemical Co. Ltd., didn't violate Section 337. Korea Kumho purchased 4-ADPA from Sinorgchem to make and sell its own 6PPD.
The ITC now has roughly until the beginning of April to decide how to proceed in the case, according to Gregory Dorris, an attorney with Pepper Hamilton L.L.P., the Washington law firm representing Flexsys.
The commission has several choices on how to proceed, Dorris said. It could vote to accept the judge's decision, reject it or ask for further briefing or oral arguments.
Meanwhile, the ITC must concurrently consider appeals from Sinorgchem and Sovereign, as well as from Flexsys, which argued the judge erred by exonerating Korea Kumho.