CLEVELAND (March 6, 2009)—Flexsys America L.P. will proceed with its patent infringement civil case against Asian chemical and tire manufacturers, despite its ultimate loss on this issue before the U.S. International Trade Commission.
Akron-based Flexsys seeks a multi-million dollar judgment in Cleveland federal district court against Sinorgchem Co. Ltd., Korea Kumho Petrochemical Co. Ltd., Kumho Tire Co. Inc. and Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc. for allegedly using Flexsys' patented process for making the antidegradant 6PPD and its feedstock 4-ADPA without permission. Flexsys also wants an injunction against the U.S. sale of Sinorgchem and Korea Kumho's 6PPD and 4-ADPA in the U.S., and also against the U.S. sale of Kumho tires made with those substances.
In early 2005, Flexsys first filed a patent infringement complaint against Sinorgchem before the ITC. It won an exclusionary order against Sinorgchem in July 2006, but Sinorgchem appealed. In December 2007, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the ITC, and in June 2008 the agency lifted the order. An ITC administrative law judge rejected Flexsys' refiled complaint, and in October the full commission upheld the judge.
Whereas Flexsys filed the civil case with the Cleveland court in January 2005, the court stayed the case in May 2007 pending the outcome of the ITC action.
Despite its ultimate lack of success before the ITC, Flexsys is encouraged that it will prevail in federal court, said a spokeswoman for Flexsys parent company Solutia Inc. “In court, there is more opportunity to explain the complex scientific evidence in this case,” she said.