The Provincial Court in Barcelona, Spain last month held in favor of DuPont on all counts in the company’s appeal to protect and enforce its patent covering the use of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC)-23 as a fire extinguishing agent in Spain. HFC-23, sold by DuPont as FE-13™ fire extinguishant, is a clean agent fire extinguishant with zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) that DuPont developed in the early 1990s to replace ozone-depleting halons in fire prevention and extinguishing applications.
As a result of the ruling, users of HFC-23 fire extinguishants in Spain should only buy from DuPont or DuPont authorized companies to avoid the potential of infringing any DuPont patent.
“Enforcement of DuPont patents provides our customers the assurance of consistent quality products which are safe and effective, it ensures continued access to lawfully sourced clean agent fire extinguishants, and it enables our continued investment in new technologies and products for our customers’ use in the future,” said Greg M. Rubin, global business manager, DuPont Fluorochemicals Specialties. “DuPont is committed to protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights for its products globally, and when we secure evidence of patent infringement, we act to stop it.”
The Barcelona Provincial Court specifically held that “NAF S-23”, marketed by Safety Hi-Tech srl to prevent, control, or extinguish fires, infringes upon the DuPont patent. The amount of monetary damages to DuPont had not yet been determined by the Spanish court, as this was not the object of these proceedings, but DuPont planned to seek damages for the declared infringement. Although Safety Hi-Tech has appealed the decision before the Spanish Supreme Court, under the Provincial Court’s ruling, only DuPont Fire Extinguishants or DuPont authorized companies are legally permitted to sell HFC-23 as a fire extinguishant in Spain.