US chem firm sues Coca-Cola in patent dispute

21 June 2012 23:11  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US-based specialty chemicals company Ethox Chemicals sued Coca-Cola, alleging that the beverage company filed a patent for a material it invented, a development that the company had no immediate comment on Thursday.

The material, bis (2-phenoxyethyl) terephthalate (PEM) can be used as a substitute for polyethylene terephthalate (PET), Ethox said.

Ethox alleges that Coca-Cola approached the company to help develop a PET substitute that would not allow gases to escape from beverages, it said. Such a material would increase the shelf life of beverages.

Initially, Coca-Cola asked Ethox and another company not named in the lawsuit, Polytech, to manufacture other possible PET substitutes.

Ethox determined that one of the substitutes was not economically feasible, it said. Instead, it conceived of PEM and proposed it as an alternative.

Afterwards, Ethox alleges that Coca-Cola filed patents that included PEM.

Ethox alleges that Coca-Cola knew that it had invented PEM and only it had the rights to the material.

Ethox wants to be named co-inventor on the patents. It is also requesting unspecified damages.

The lawsuit was filed in US District Court, South Carolina district.


By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645



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