Monday, May 20, 2013

DuPont offers rewards for protecting its patent insecticides

On 10 April, 2013, Shanghai DuPont Agricultural Chemicals Limited (DuPont) posted a reward announcement. According to the announcement, anyone offering evidence of infringement of its patents for its two major products—chlorantraniliprole and cyantraniliprole—will receive a reward from DuPont, the maximum reward reaching USD24,270 (RMB150,000) per individual. This reveals that DuPont is fighting infringement of its patents on a national scale.

In detail, this reward targets five illegal patent infringement activities: producing and selling fake pesticides under the name of chlorantraniliprole and cyantraniliprole; producing and selling chlorantraniliprole and cyantraniliprole technical (TC); export of the aforementioned products with the name of other chemical products; adding the aforementioned products as recessive ingredients to other insecticides; transporting the aforementioned products.

The announcement does not limit the type of occupations. Anyone (including farmers) discovering evidence of these five illegal activities around the country can call or send a SMS to the hotline of DuPont until 31 May, 2013. The reward value depends on the effect of evidence and the type of case, with a maximum of USD24,270, which is attractive enough to stimulate the public to cooperate with DuPont to crack down on illegal activities and products.

The patent products of DuPont and other international enterprises has been suffering patent infringement in China, as counterfeiting of these patent products and selling other products under their names  generates abundant profits. Chlorantraniliprole and cyantraniliprole are DuPont's core insecticides with valid patent and intellectual property in China and they are also the targets of counterfeiting.

The high profit obtainable and high product awareness have incentivized many domestic producers to illegally produce chlorantraniliprole products, disturbing DuPont legal business operation since it introduced chlorantraniliprole into China in 2008. As revealed by an insider, DuPont discovers more than 60 cases involving infringements of its chlorantraniliprole patent in every province in China annually. Of these, adding chlorantraniliprole or counterfeited chlorantraniliprole into other insecticides as recessive ingredient is the most frequently discovered type of chlorantraniliprole patent infringement case.

Besides, producing chlorantraniliprole TC illegally should not be ignored, as the illegal production of chlorantraniliprole TC is one source of other illegal activities of infringement of patents. For instance, one company namely Nantong Tianye Fine Chemical Co., Ltd. once owned a   chlorantraniliprole TC production line, and sold its chlorantraniliprole in 18 provinces from 2009 to 2010, with a total sales value of USD5.67 million (RMB35 million). It is one of the largest patent infringement cases in China's pesticide industry.

Similarly, cyantraniliprole, a new insecticide registered by DuPont in Sept. 2012 in China, is predicted to face this problem in the process of its promotion in the domestic market. In order to protect legal intellectual property and guarantee normal business operation of the company, DuPont has to pay attention to cracking down on illegal activities involving chlorantraniliprole and cyantraniliprole.

According to an insider, DuPont mainly uses two methods for cracking down on illegal activities. Hiring specific operators to investigate illegal activities which infringe its legal benefits is the major method.

Offering reward is considered another effective method and a supplement for hiring specific operators, as the reward announcement can be spread widely, compared with hiring specific operators. The investigation scale can cover the whole country using people with different occupations such as farmers and couriers, if DuPont strengthens the advertising of the reward. DuPont advertises through specific media, targeting dealers and salesmen in the agrochemical industry. These advertisement targets can provide more accurate evidence as they are familiar with the supply and sales channel in their local regions.

Meanwhile, the reward announcement can also warn infringers. Some infringers who are afraid of becoming involved in lawsuits will probably stop their infringement behaviour, which is also the aim of the reward announcement by DuPont. Obtaining compensation for infringement rights through the court is not DuPont's original purpose.

The reward announcement has had a quick achievement. It is reported that an individual workshop producing counterfeit pesticides with a big output volume was caught in mid-April 2013 by local officials of Yueyang City, Hunan Province, with the assistance of DuPont. It is probably a case of counterfeiting chlorantraniliprole.

Besides DuPont, another agrochemical giant Syngenta has also taken legal action to protect its patent rights. It filed a lawsuit with Shanghai First Intermediate People's Court (Court) against Xiangtan Changsheng Fine Chemicals Co., Ltd. (Xiangtan Changsheng) for infringement of its thiamethoxam patent. Syngenta appealed to the Court for an injunction prohibiting Xiangtan Changsheng from producing, using and selling (including exporting) thiamethoxam and thiamethoxam derivatives which had infringed its patent; meanwhile, Syngenta petitioned the Court to destroy all derivatives of thiamethoxam and thiamethoxam from Xiangtan Changsheng.

The news was sourced from Insecticides China News, issued by CCM in May.

Table of Contents of Insecticides China News 1305:
CCPIA to launch pesticide exhibitions in Ukraine and Myanmar
China's chlorpyrifos witnesses price rebound in 2013
New technology reduces 30% production cost of pyrethrin
Consumption of wheat insecticides in heading stage to decrease this year
Abamectin and fosthiazate to be mainstream nematicides in China
Emamectin benzoate + indoxacarb becomes a hotspot
Jiangsu Huifeng to expand capacity of intermediate of bifenthrin to 2,000t/a
Shandong Rainbow expands insecticide registrations overseas
DuPont offers rewards for protecting its patent insecticides
Nanjing Redsun constructs project of 50,000t/a intermediate for chlorpyrifos
Jiangxi Tianren acquires USD28.5 million investment from IFC
Nantong Changqing to launch 1,000t/a acetamiprid TC project
China's dimethoate export volume & value soared in 2012
Price Update Table

Insecticides China News, a monthly publication issued by CCM on 10th, provides the latest and influential analysis on insecticide industry. Major contents include special report, company dynamics, market dynamics, supply and demand, price analysis, policy, raw material and intermediate.

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