MORRIS TOWNSHIP, N.J. - The Intellectual Property High Court of Japan upheld Honeywell’s patent relating to refrigerant R-410A in Japan. On Jan. 14, the court reversed a decision by the Board of Appeal of the Japan Patent Office regarding patent JP 1877437 relating to the refrigerant, which is widely used in stationary air conditioning.

“We are very pleased that the court upheld Honeywell’s patent, which protects Honeywell’s significant investment in developing this refrigerant,” said David Diggs, global business director for Honeywell Fluorine Products. “Honeywell, as always, intends to vigorously protect its patent rights against infringement.”

The Japanese patent is currently in force in Japan. Any importation, offer for sale, sale (including resale), or use in Japan of R-410A not acquired from a licensed source could give rise to liability for patent infringement.

Examples of such activities include importation of R-410A into Japan; sale by the importer of R-410A to an a/c equipment manufacturer; sale by the importer of R-410A to a distributor for packaging into cylinders for resale to the a/c service channel; use of the R-410A by a/c manufacturers in a/c equipment; sale by a/c equipment manufacturer of a/c equipment containing the R-410A to a retailer, dealer, or distributor of a/c equipment; and resale by retailer of a/c equipment containing R-410A to an end-user, such as a homeowner.

Honeywell sells R-410A under the Genetron brand name. R-410A, a non-ozone depleting substance, was invented and patented by Honeywell in 1994 in Japan as a replacement for R-22. Honeywell has licensed its intellectual property relating to R-410A refrigerant to other manufacturers.

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Publication date:02/22/2010