By John Presper

On February 24, 2022, the ITC issued a Notice of Investigation in Certain Products Containing Pyraclostrobin and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-1303).

By way of background, this investigation is based on a January 28, 2022 complaint filed by BASF SE of Germany and BASF Corporation, Florham Park, New Jersey (collectively, BASF”) alleging violations of section 337 by Respondents Sharda Cropchem Ltd. of India and Sharda USA LLC of Norristown, Pennsylvania (collectively, “Sharda”) in the unlawful importation/sale of certain products containing pyraclostrobin and components thereof by reason of infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,816,392 (“the ’392 patent”).

According to the complaint, the ’392 patent relates to a crystalline modification of pyraclostrobin, a fungicidal chemical for use (1) in disease control and plant health in a variety of plants, (2) as a seed technology for disease control and plant health in a variety of crops, and (3) as a drench for soil borne disease control and improved plant health.  The accused products include Sharda Boscalid 25.2% + Pyraclostrobin 12.8% WG (EPA Reg. No. 83529-178) and Sharda Boscalid 25.2% + Pyraclostrobin 12.8% WG II (EPA Reg. No. 83529-179), and various technical and end-use products for which Sharda seeks regulatory approval, such as: (1) “Sharda Pyraclostrobin 20% WG;” (2) “Sharda Pyraclostrobin 25% EC,” marketed and sold abroad as PREACH™; (3) “Sharda Pyraclostrobin 20% SC;” and (4) “Sharda Pyraclostrobin Technical.”  BASF is requesting that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order and cease-and-desist order against Sharda.  According to the Notice of Investigation, the Office of Unfair Import Investigations will not participate as a party in the investigation.  Lastly, Chief ALJ Clark S. Cheney issued a notice indicating that he will preside in the investigation.