The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina has issued an order finding that agrochemical manufacturer Willowood, LLC and Willowood USA, LLC (collectively, "Willowood") infringed two valid U.S. patents owned by Syngenta relating to the fungicide azoxystrobin (U.S. Patent No. 5,602,076 and U.S. Patent No. 5,633,256).
The court found that, before engaging in the infringing activities, Willowood knew of Syngenta's patents and knew that its activities would likely infringe the patents. Damages for Willowood's infringement will be assessed at trial scheduled for later this year.
Vern Hawkins, Syngenta regional director in North America, notes: "This is an important victory for Syngenta and ultimately for farmers because it preserves intellectual property rights that create incentive for continued innovation from companies like ours. We intend to continue protecting our significant investments in developing and commercializing crop protection products such as azoxystrobin."
Jon Parr, Syngenta global president of the crop protection business, adds: "As the industry¹s leading innovator, Syngenta holds a number of patents related to azoxystrobin, including Quadris Technology and Amistar Technology, in countries around the world. This includes patents covering methods of producing azoxystrobin, which Syngenta intends to defend vigorously."