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

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...

Into Africa

8 January 2009 Premium contentFeature

news image

China's national petroleum companies have built some of the biggest refinery projects in Africa, in a resource rush not witho...

Most Read

No-frills coats set a trend for designer viruses

26 August 2014 Research

news image

An artificial protein that self-assembles around and protects DNA could be ideal for gene therapy, nanomachines and synthetic...

History of King Richard III written in his teeth

18 August 2014 Research

news image

Chemical analysis of isotope signatures in monarch's remains provide insight into his life

Most Commented

The energy to fight injustice

23 July 2014 Comments

news image

Giving the world carbon-free energy means putting nuclear energy back on the agenda, says James Hansen

Next Mars rover will make oxygen from CO2

4 August 2014 News and Analysis

news image

Mars 2020 will set Nasa’s space exploration on a self-sufficiency course