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

Collaboration, not competition

29 June 2015 Research

news image

Organic chemist E J Corey talks to Phillip Broadwith about awards, ambition and academic freedom

Copper catalysis overcomes double bond trouble

3 July 2015 Research

news image

Stubbornly stable unactivated internal alkenes become chiral tertiary amine precursors

Most Commented

Collaboration, not competition

29 June 2015 Research

news image

Organic chemist E J Corey talks to Phillip Broadwith about awards, ambition and academic freedom

Z machine puts the squeeze on metallic deuterium

25 June 2015 Research

news image

Pressures similar to those at centre of the Earth forge metallic deuterium in step toward 80-year-old dream of creating metal...