Will 3M's Case against DuPont Stick?

3M filed for patent infringement against DuPont this week for allegedly using their patented technology to manufacture Teflon.
March 19, 2010 - PRLog -- Post-it creator 3M has filed a complaint claiming patent infringement against science-based company DuPont. The complaint was filed on March 17, 2010 and claims that DuPont is knowingly infringinging upon 3M’s patent, 7,358,296 titled “Aqueous Dispersions of Fluropolymers”.

Based in St. Paul, Minnesota 3M has developed such popular products as Scotchgard, Scotch Tape and Command Adhesive. The company was founded in 1902 and sales products in nearly 200 countries. 3M’s global sales in 2009 reached $23 billion.
In the complaint 3M claims ownership of the ‘296 patent. The patent was issued in April 2008.  

3M claims that DuPont is, “making, using, selling, offering to sell and/or importing…aqueous flouropolymer products”. The most popular of these products being DuPont’s Teflon. 3M claims they have repeatedly asked DuPont to license the patent but DuPont has yet to do so.

DuPont, whose headquarters are in Delaware, was established in 1802 and has created many popular products including Teflon, Kevlar and Pioneer seeds. DuPont operates in over 70 countries.

Dan Turner, a spokesperson for DuPont gave Patent Calls this statement, "We are aware of the complaint by 3M about the use of certain technology by DuPont. Our use of this technology is part of a program to introduce more sustainable technologies for fluoropolymer production. We are confident in our freedom to operate in manufacturing these products and we will defend ourselves vigorously."

According to the complaint, 3M is asking to be awarded damages plus increased damages, attorney’s fees, and pre- and post-judgment interest. 3M is also asking for the court to perform an accounting of DuPont’s infringing sales.

3M did not respond to Patent Calls by press time.

In 2004 DuPont came under fire with the US Environment Protection Agency for covering up information about C8, a toxic chemical used in the manufacture of Teflon. The EPA alleged that DuPont covered up important information about C8’s health affects, as well as the company’s alleged pollution of the water supply near their Washington Works plant. The EPA and DuPont reached an agreement in late 2005.

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