Press Release
January 25, 2012

Goodwin Procter Litigators Win Summary Judgment Motion in Pesticide Patent Case

Earlier this month, Goodwin Procter clients, agrochemical manufacturers Makhteshim Agan of North America and Control Solutions Inc., won a summary judgment of noninfringement from the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. Judge William Osteen Jr. found that that the clients’ fipronil containing pesticide product Taurus SC did not infringe any of the patents in a suit brought by chemical companies BASF Agro BV and Bayer SAS.

Taurus SC is the first generic version of a pesticide containing fipronil, which is sold under the brand name Termidor.

The plaintiffs filed suit in April 2010, alleging that Goodwin’s clients’ imminent launch of a generic version of fipronil products would infringe three patents. Two patents relate to a method of applying insecticide to protect buildings; the third patent related to a process of making the active ingredient, fipronil. In October 2010, the court entered a consent judgment stating that Goodwin’s clients' process did not infringe the process patent, thereby removing the process patent from the case.

In February 2011, the plaintiffs filed a motion for a preliminary injunction aimed at preventing clients’ launch of their Taurus SC product in the spring. This was followed by plaintiffs' motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) filed in March 2011. The court granted plaintiffs’ TRO motion on April 4. However, on May 27, the court denied the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction and lifted the temporary restraining order, allowing Makhteshim Agan and Control Solutions to begin selling their Taurus SC product.