AKRON (Feb. 2, 2005) — Kumho Tire Co. Inc. and Kumho Tire USA Inc. have been named as defendants in a patent infringement case relating to a specific type of antidegradant used in tires.
Rubber chemicals maker Flexsys Americas L.P. has filed suit against South Korea's Kumho Tire and Kumho Petrochemical Co. Ltd., China's Sinorgchem Co. Ltd., Sovereign Chemical Co. of Akron and Kumho Tire USA over alleged patent infringements relating to its 4-ADPA manufacturing process, used to make PPD anti-degradants.
Flexsys is seeking $20 million in damages.
The company, a unit of Flexsys N.V. of The Netherlands, filed the patent infringement case in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio against the aforementioned companies, which Flexsys alleges either make, sell or use products made with processes covered by its patents.
“This technology is of strategic importance to Flexsys,” said Tim Wessel, business director, antidegradants. “Flexsys has discovered, developed and commercialized this award-winning and patented process and this has involved significant investment. We will take appropriate legal action in all applicable jurisdictions to protect our patent rights.”
Flexsys alleges that Shandong Sinorgchem and Korea Kumho Petrochemical have used Flexsys' patented 4-ADPA process to make products that are being imported into the U.S., and that Sovereign Chemical is importing and distributing those products.
Flexsys also alleges that Kumho tires sold in the U.S. include those products.
Kumho Tire USA had no comment on the allegations, a company spokeman said.