The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which hears most patent appeals, ruled that the International Trade Commission was correct in ruling that three Ajinomoto patents were not violated by Chinese lysine manufacturers.
The Chinese companies involved are Global Bio-Chem Technology Group Co Ltd, Changchun Dacheng Bio-chem Engineering Development Co Ltd, Changchun Baocheng Bio-Chem Development Co Ltd, Changchun Dahe Bio Technology Development Co, and Bio-chem Technology Ltd.
Two of the patents have to do with ways to produce lysine using a genetically engineered bacteria to get larger quantities. Portions of the lawsuit date back to 2006.
The patents concerned are US Patent Nos. 5,827,698
. Both the ‘698 patent and the ‘160 patent are directed to improved methods of producing L-lysine through the use of E. coli
bacteria that have been genetically engineered specifically for the purpose of producing lysine at levels far above those found in nature.
Specifically, the patents are directed to methods that disrupt the natural feedback inhibition and lysine degradation pathways within E. coli.
Detailed information on the case can be found here