Syngenta Suing Willowood Over Seed Treatment

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Syngenta is suing Oregon-based chemical maker Willowood for alleged patent and copyright infringement, as well as unfair and deceptive trade practices.

The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, alleges, among other things, that Willowood’s Azoxy 2SC and AzoxyProp Xtra products each infringe certain Syngenta patents relating to azoxystrobin and methods of making azoxystrobin, a broad-spectrum seed treatment fungicide for control of seed and seed-borne diseases.

Additionally, the complaint alleges that in labeling its products Willowood has copied and infringes Syngenta’s copyrighted product labels.

“Syngenta has invested significant resources researching, developing and ultimately commercializing azoxystrobin, a break-through fungicidal chemical, which effectively controls fungal growth and enhances the yield of a variety of plants including cereals, such as wheat and barley, as well as fruits, vegetables, bananas, rice, soybeans, corn, turf and ornamentals,” Syngenta reports in its statement. “Syngenta has marketed a number of azoxystrobin products, including those under the trade names Abound, Heritage, Quadris and Quilt.

“Further, Syngenta continues to make significant investments to develop new products that meet growers’ needs. Given the stringent regulatory approval process and the high cost of research and development, the investment requires a major time and financial commitment. The average time to bring a new crop protection product to market is up to 10 years and can cost $260 million. Willowood’s infringement enables it to unfairly compete while avoiding the significant investments made by Syngenta.”

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