The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled that a group of five Chinese agrichemical companies did not infringe on patents for a lysine feed additive owned by Japanese food company Ajinomoto, according to Reuters news agency. The case had been on appeal from the U.S. International Trade Commission.

The administrative law judge in the case held that the claims of Ajinomoto’s two patents were invalid for failure to disclose the best mode of practicing the invention, and that both patents were unenforceable because Ajinomoto had committed inequitable conduct.

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The appellate ruling favors Global Bio-Chem Technology Group, the largest lysine producer in Asia. Other Chinese companies involved in the case were Bio-chem Technology Ltd., Changchun Baocheng Bio-Chem Development Co. Ltd., Changchun Dacheng Bio-chem Engineering Development Co. Ltd. and Changchun Dahe Bio Technology Development Co.

Li Weigang, assistant general manager of Global Bio-Chem Technology Group, said, “Today’s ruling maintains continued competition in the marketplace, which will benefit American consumers during this time of rising food prices.” The law firms Foley Hoag LLP and Adduci, Mastriani & Schaumberg LLP represented Global Bio-Chem Technology in the case.