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Suit addresses misappropriation of INVISTA trade secrets

20
Aug '08
In federal court Friday, INVISTA sued Rhodia and DuPont alleging they are teaming up to misappropriate INVISTA's world-leading adiponitrile (ADN) technology and are unlawfully using INVISTA's trade secrets to expand in the nylon chemicals business.

“Our proprietary ADN technology is an enormously valuable trade secret, and INVISTA takes protecting its trade secrets and other intellectual property very seriously,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, INVISTA spokesperson.

“This suit was necessary to stop Rhodia and DuPont from unlawfully using INVISTA's intellectual property to build an ADN manufacturing plant in Asia or elsewhere. We're asking the court to put an end to Rhodia's and DuPont's misconduct and award damages for the harm they have caused,” Jarvis said.

The INVISTA trade secrets at issue relate to its proprietary process for producing adiponitrile, a critical intermediate chemical used in the manufacture of nylon 6,6. INVISTA bought the original technology several years ago from DuPont as part of a $4.2 billion transaction and has built upon that technology to earn a world-leading position in the manufacture of ADN, Jarvis said.

When it sold the technology to INVISTA, DuPont signed an agreement prohibiting it from competing against INVISTA or making investments in competitors for an agreed-upon period, which has yet to expire. As explained in the lawsuit, Rhodia obtained unlawful access to the trade secrets through a France-based joint venture between affiliates of INVISTA and Rhodia.

Public statements by Rhodia and DuPont indicate that Rhodia is using INVISTA's trade secrets to develop and operate an adiponitrile (ADN) manufacturing facility in Asia. DuPont recently disclosed that it is an investor in Rhodia's ADN expansion plans.

The lawsuit seeks preliminary and permanent injunctive relief preventing Rhodia and DuPont from using and disclosing INVISTA trade secret information in developing their own plant or using that trade secret information to compete unfairly in the marketplace. It also asserts claims for damages for violations of various sections of the Lanham Act, misappropriation and misuse of trade secrets, breach of various contracts between DuPont and INVISTA, conversion, tortious interference with contracts, and conspiracy.

INVISTA


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