Issue Date: October 27, 2008
Chemist Beats Ineos In Patent Case
A jury in Mobile, Ala., has ordered Ineos Americas and Ineos Phenol, formerly Phenolchemie, to pay a retired chemist $192 million in compensatory damages for stealing his ideas. In 1997, Sven-Peter Mannsfeld invented a process for converting a by-product of phenol production into a feedstock for carbon black. At the time, Mannsfeld was employed by Degussa in its carbon black business and was working with Phenolchemie to obtain the feedstock for Degussa. Phenolchemie subsequently filed for and received patents for the process in the U.S. and Europe but did not identify Mannsfeld as the inventor.
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