Makhteshim Wins BASF Infringement Case

Tel Aviv, Israel –Makhteshim Agan Group (MAI) said this week that it won a fipronil patent infringement case brought against it by Germany’s BASF and Bayer CropScience in April 2010.

The US District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina ruled in favor of MAI North America and its US subsidiary, Control Solutions Inc., finding that its fipronil insecticide does not infringe on BASF and Bayer’s patents.

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BASF said it will appeal the decision. The company also announced it settled a separate fipronil infringement suit against Denmark’s Cheminova, which it filed simultaneously 18 months ago.

In June 2011, MAI’s affiliate CSI launched sales of fipronil-based products under the brand names Taurus for the professional pest control market and Prefurred for companion animal use. MAI’s Taurus was the first major generic version of fipronil, a widely-used broad spectrum insecticide, to become available in the US.

“In creating Taurus, MAI has taken advantage of novel, advanced technologies to design a new manufacturing process these capabilities will continue to support our portfolio expansion,” Shaul Friedland, Head of MAI’s Americas region, said in a statement.

Friedland says the company will continue marketing the products in the US, and plans to launch new fipronil-based products to other markets.

Jan Buberl, Director of Specialty Products, BASF North America Crop Protection, said in a statement, “We are confident in our intellectual property rights and are committed to vigorously protecting our investments in innovation for this marketplace.”

In BASF’s settlement with Cheminova, it “acknowledged the validity and enforceability of BASF patents relating to the manufacture and use of fipronil-based termiticide products.” Cheminova will be restricted from using, making or selling any such products until the respective patents expire. Further terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Fipronil is utilized for termite prevention and treatment, flea and tick control, and as a broad-spectrum insecticide for crop markets in a variety of branded products throughout the world. The active ingredient is used in crop protection mainly for treatment of cotton, potatoes, rice and seed treatment in addition to broad uses for non-crop applications.

Source: published statements, Edited by Jaclyn Sindrich, Managing Editor