On Nov. 11, 2008, DuPont issued a press release saying, "DuPont (NYSE: DD) today filed a lawsuit claiming INVISTA is infringing a DuPont patent and has misappropriated DuPont trade secrets and proprietary information relating to DuPont's nylon engineering resins business. The suit was filed in U.S. Federal Court in the Southern District of New York.
"DuPont is seeking a permanent injunction, declaratory relief and damages relating to the INVISTA production of nylon 6,6 engineering resins. DuPont claims INVISTA misappropriated DuPont trade secrets, infringed on the company's patents and breached a Patent and Technical Information Agreement. Under the terms of this agreement, INVISTA is not allowed to use DuPont technology to make nylon 6,6 engineering resins for several years," the statement added.
While many news agencies simply ran with the story, SNEWS® conducted a brief check of the courts for this case and other related cases. Good thing, as there appears to be more than one side to this story.
Seems Invista filed its own lawsuit on Aug. 15, 2008, in the U.S. Federal Court in the Southern District of New York, alleging, "wrongful conduct by defendant DuPont which, among other things, has individually and in concert with others misappropriated Invista's highly-confidential, world-leading chemical process technology, breached contracts with Invista, and has now teamed up with French chemical firm Rhodia to use the fruits of this illegal activity to build a competing business…"
Invista goes on to allege in the court filing, "The trade secrets at issue concern a process for the production of adiponitrile (AND), a critical 'intermediate' chemical used in the manufacture of nylon 6.6, a commercially valuable form of nylon known for its resiliency…"
SNEWS® View: Interesting that DuPont failed to mention the other side of the story in this case. In fact, a search of both Invista and DuPont in the court files reveals these two companies have been at each other's throats from a legal perspective for some time on one issue or another ever since Invista purchased DuPont's Textile and Interiors business for approximately $4 billion in April 2004. As for any impact this might have on nylon 6,6 (otherwise known as high-tenacity nylon) used in the manufacture of luggage, packs and more by outdoor industry companies, it is unlikely suppliers will feel much of a pinch at all. This case is sure to make lawyers richer, nylon more expensive, and drag on for some time to come.