17 September 2007 23:35 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--A US district judge on Monday scheduled a pretrial hearing for 1 November after US acetic-acid producer Celanese filed suit against US product distributor Oxyde Chemicals for alleged patent violations.
Celanese accuses Oxyde of importing acetic acid from a Chinese manufacturer, Jiangsu Sopo, made by using Celanese's patented process. The suit seeks unspecified damages from the distributor.
Celanese spokesman Jeremy Neuhart declined to comment on the lawsuit, citing the confidentiality of ongoing litigation, but said that "Celanese takes the protection of its intellectual property very seriously, and we will vigorously defend our patents if necessary".
Oxyde was contacted on Monday, but officials were not available for comment. The distributor is based in Houston, Texas.The suit contends under US law that Oxyde is liable, since it bought a product that infringes on Celanese's patent, which the distributor intended to sell. Oxyde is importing 4,000 tonnes of the acid, due to arrive in the port of Houston by 10 October, the suit says.
Celanese sent Oxyde a letter dated 14 September, warning the distributor that the acetic acid was made using the company's patented process, the suit says.(David Barry contributed to this article)
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