By Eric Schweibenz
On March 5, 2014, FMC Corp. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (“FMC”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that Beijing Nutrichem Science and Technology Stock Co., Ltd. of China, Summit Agro USA, LLC of Cary, North Carolina, Summit Agro North America Holding Corp. of New York, New York, and Jiangxi Heyi Chemicals Co. Ltd. of China (collectively, the “Proposed Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain sulfentrazone active ingredient and formulated sulfentrazone compositions made by a process that infringes one or more claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,169,952 (the ‘952 patent).

According to the complaint, the ‘952 patent relates to a process for making sulfentrazone by reacting an aniline with a sulfonating agent in the presence of dimethylformamide at a temperature range of about 120° C to about 160° C for about 3 to about 7 hours.

In the complaint, FMC states that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the ‘952 patent.  The complaint specifically refers to sulfentrazone products labeled as Blanket 4F, SFZ-4SC, and/or SAUSX-01 as infringing products.

Regarding domestic industry, FMC states that its sulfentrazone business is dedicated to exploiting the technology covered by the ‘952 patent.  FMC states that products under its Authority, Spartan, Zeus, BroadAxe, Blindside, Echelon, Dismiss, and Solitare brands exploit the process of the ‘952 patent.  FMC further states that although it manufactures sulfentrazone abroad, its activities in the U.S., including research and development of the process of the ‘952 patent, research and development regarding additional products containing sulfentrazone manufactured by the process of the ‘952 patent, and formulation, packaging, and sale of products containing sulfentrazone constitute a domestic industry for purposes of Section 337.

As to related litigation, FMC states that on January 16, 2014, it filed a complaint relating to the ‘952 patent in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

With respect to potential remedy, FMC requests that the Commission issue a temporary exclusion order, a temporary cease and desist order, a permanent exclusion order, and a permanent cease and desist order directed at the Proposed Respondents and their agents, distributors, and majority owned business entities, or anyone acting in concert with them.