By Eric Schweibenz
On May 20, 2013, Rohm and Haas Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Rohm and Haas Chemicals LLC of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and The Dow Chemical Company of Midland, Michigan (collectively, “Complainants”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that the following entities (collectively, the “Proposed Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain opaque polymers that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,020,435 (the ‘435 patent); 6,252,004 (the ‘004 patent); 7,435,783 (the ‘783 patent); and 7,803,878 (the ‘878 patent):

  • Organik Kimya San. ve Tic. A.S. of Turkey

  • Organik Kimya Netherlands B.V. of the Netherlands

  • Organik Kimya US, Inc. of Burlington, Massachusetts

  • Turk International LLC of Aptos, California

  • Aalborz Chemical LLC of Grand Rapids, Michigan

According to the complaint, the asserted patents are generally related to opaque polymers, described as “hollow-sphere polymeric pigments that allow paint manufacturers to reduce the raw material cost of their formulations by using tiny air voids trapped in the polymer to scatter light.”

The complaint describes the activities of the Proposed Respondents alleged to directly infringe the asserted patents, asserting that Organik Kimya produces infringing polymers at both its Turkey and Netherlands locations.  The other Proposed Respondents are accused of importing, selling after importation, and/or distributing the opaque polymers produced by Organik Kimya.

The complaint states that none of the asserted patents have been the subject of any previous litigation.
Complainants assert that they meet both the economic and technical prongs of the domestic industry requirement, providing confidential technical material illustrating the process by which Rohm and Haas manufactures opaque polymers in the United States together with claim charts illustrating how the Rohm and Haas products correspond to representative claims of the asserted patents.  Complainants also assert that they made “significant investments in plant and equipment and employment of labor and capital” in relation to these products. 

With respect to potential remedy, the complaint requests the ITC to issue a permanent exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders directed at the Proposed Respondents.