Danisco pays up in patent infringement case

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Enzyme Danisco

Enzyme firms Danisco and Novozymes have settled a patent dispute,
resulting in Novozymes receiving over $15m.

The decision follows a ruling from a court in Delaware, USA, which found that Danisco's US subsidiary Genecor had infringed on a Novozymes patent for one of its bioethanol enzymes. Novozymes was granted a patent for the enzyme almost two years ago. The company said it had contacted Danisco warning that the patent was due to be issued, and advising the firm to stop manufacturing and selling its Spezyme Ethyl product, an alpha amylase enzyme used in ethanol production. Danisco voluntarily withdrew its product from the market only after a first patent infringement ruling in August last year. The firms today announced that Novozymes will receive a payment of $15.3m inclusive of patent infringement damages of $8.2m. The parties have concluded an agreement on reciprocal waiving of the right to appeal the decision of the court of first instance and have agreed not to publish any details of the settlement. According to Danisco chief executive officer Tom Knutzen, the total amount, which is due for immediate payment, will not have an impact on the firm's earnings expectations for 2006/07 as provision was previously made for the amount. The court has also issued a permanent injunction against Danisco preventing future infringement of Novozymes' patent, and meaning the firm cannot re-launch its Spezyme Ethyl product. However, in August last year Genencor launched a new product - Spezyme Xtra - to replace Spezyme Ethyl.

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