Chinese copycat chemical spat


Chemical producer Ineos has lodged a legal challenge against China’s state-owned Sinopec and several of its subsidiaries over intellectual property relating to acrylonitrile production.

Ineos claims that Sinopec Ningbo Engineering Company has broken a long established technology agreement, among other abuses of Ineos’ trade secrets allowing Sinopec to build large new plants using what Ineos claims to be its technology, but without paying licensing fees.

Ineos is pursuing the case both through the high court of Beijing and through separate arbitration in Sweden. ‘The fundamental value of a business like Ineos depends on its intellectual property which includes trade secrets and patents, covering technology, design and operations,’ said Jim Ratcliffe, the company’s chairman, in a statement.  ‘Unless we protect our intellectual property, ultimately we will see the demise of Ineos.’

However, Sinopec contends that its plants do not infringe any Ineos intellectual property. In a statement to Reuters, the firm claimed that it developed the technology independently through its Shanghai Research Institute of Petrochemical Technology subsidiary.


Related Content

After Tianjin

17 September 2015 Critical Point

news image

China’s appalling chemical safety record demands a global response, says Mark Peplow

Chinese scientist arrested for attempted research theft

9 April 2013 News and Analysis

news image

Medical College of Wisconsin researcher arrested for allegedly stealing a patented cancer compound to take to a Chinese unive...

Most Commented

Electric choc treatment promises lower fat chocolate

22 June 2016 Research

news image

Problem of reduced fat chocolate gumming up factories’ pipelines overcome

Behind closed doors: How to win the Nobel prize

7 October 2015 Comments

news image

Bengt Norden addresses the myths and rumours surrounding the world's most prestigious science prize