US federal court: Frontech has no proprietary rights to INVISTA’s BDO technology
Settlement resolves dispute accusing Frontech Inc. of misappropriating and illicitly marketing INVISTA’s technology to Chinese butanediol manufacturing companies
A federal court in Houston entered an agreed order today declaring that Frontech, Inc. has no proprietary rights to certain parts of INVISTA’s 1,4 butanediol (BDO) technology and prohibits Frontech from licensing any technology that incorporates INVISTA’s hydrogenation technology.
The agreed order was the result of INVISTA resolving its legal dispute with Frontech, Inc. and Frontech’s owner, Ming Wan over alleged past use of INVISTA’s proprietary technology.
As part of the settlement, Frontech agreed to pay INVISTA to obtain a limited license to use the proprietary information embodied in INVISTA’s hydrogenation reactor drawings. Frontech’s license to use INVISTA’s proprietary BDO technology is exclusively limited to two prior projects in China: the Shaanxi BDO Chemical Industry Co. Project and the Yunnan Yunwei Chemical Refining Ltd. Project.
Frontech utilized Hualu Engineering & Technology Co., Ltd.’s design services for both projects.
The Agreed Order entered by the District Court for the Southern District of Texas also stipulates that Frontech shall not use or license INVISTA’s proprietary BDO manufacturing technology; Frontech will return all confidential INVISTA information to INVISTA; and Frontech must preserve certain documents related to its future attempts to secure BDO licenses.
“We will continue to protect our customers’ investment in licensing our world-class technology,” said Bob Francois, president, INVISTA Specialty Materials.
INVISTA has been licensing its leading technologies in chemical intermediates and polymers in China since 1990. The total investment of INVISTA's Chinese licensees has exceeded RMB 32 billion.
Butanediol (BDO) is an industrial solvent and intermediate compound used in the production of various plastics and polymers. Applications include automobile parts, printing ink, cleaning agents, paint and varnishes, adhesives and spandex.