*The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has extended the target date of its initial determination regarding sucralose patent infringement allegations. The allegations were made by Tate & Lyle against both Niutang Chemical (Niutang) and its subsidiary, US Niutang Chemical, Inc. *
According to the order entered by ITC Administrative Law Judge Charles Bullock, the 90-day extension is necessary due to the heavy demands of his current case load. The initial determination is now set for 12 September 2008, with a final ruling by the ITC scheduled for no later than 12 January 2009.
Niutang stated it will continue to supply sucralose to its US customers. “The ITC extension will not affect our ability to supply sucralose to our customers,” said Niutang General Manager Licheng Wang Jr.
“From the outset, we have said that Niutang does not infringe any of the patents asserted by Tate & Lyle in this proceeding.
“We have always respected the intellectual property rights of other companies, and we have made significant investments in our own research, development and manufacturing processes,” Wang stated. “In fact, we are expanding our sucralose capacity to meet the rising demands of our customers.
“The allegations against Niutang regard four patents. One of them was voluntarily dismissed by Tate & Lyle before the ITC hearing because the evidence showed we did not infringe. One of Tate & Lyle’s own experts agreed that the process Niutang currently uses does not infringe two of the other patents. The final Tate & Lyle patent in this case, which Niutang also strongly believes is not infringed, expires in July 2009. With the recent extension, the target date for the ITC’s final decision is now January 2009. We are still confident of a positive outcome in Niutang’s favour, and we do not anticipate any disruption in the delivery of sucralose to our customers.”
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