Bloomberg News

Novozymes Wins $18.3 Million in Danisco Trial Over Enzymes

October 27, 2011

(Updates with DuPont comment in fifth paragraph.)

Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Novozymes A/S, the world’s largest maker of industrial enzymes, said it won a U.S. trial in which a jury ordered DuPont Co.’s Danisco unit to pay $18.3 million for infringing a patent related to biofuel production.

Danisco, the biggest maker of food additives and second- largest industrial enzyme producer, was found to have willfully infringed the patent, a finding that may raise the damages award, Bagsvaerd, Denmark-based Novozymes said in a statement. DuPont, which bought Danisco in June, said it plans to appeal.

Novozymes sued Copenhagen-based Danisco last year in federal court in Madison, Wisconsin, accusing the company of taking its technology on an alpha amylase enzyme that remains active in high temperatures. The companies make substances that break down organic materials such as grain and corn to form an alternative to fossil fuels. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled in July that some Danisco products infringed the patent.

The jury rejected Danisco’s arguments that the patent didn’t adequately describe the technology in a way that let others replicate the invention. The jury said other products didn’t use the invention.

“We are confident in our position that Novozymes’s patent is invalid,” Daniel Turner, a spokesman for Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont, said in an e-mail. “We remain committed to providing innovative, sustainable ingredient solutions to our customers and we respect valid patent rights of others.”

Danisco had paid Novozymes $15.3 million in 2007 to settle a patent dispute over another enzyme used in ethanol production.

The case is Novozymes A/S, et al v. Danisco A/S, et al, 10- cv-251, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin (Madison).

--Editors: Romaine Bostick, John Lear

To contact the reporters on this story: Susan Decker in Washington at sdecker1@bloomberg.net; Gelu Sulugiuc in Copenhagen at gsulugiuc@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Shepard at mshepard7@bloomberg.net; James Ludden at jludden@bloomberg.net.


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