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Sweet end to firm's intellectual property battle

JK Sucralose Inc, one of the biggest sucralose manufacturers and exporters in China, has won an intellectual property case in the United States, the company said over the weekend.

"The US president did not take the decision to veto an earlier administrative ruling in the company's favor before the deadline expired Saturday, that means JK Sucralose won the case," said Florey Ye, senior vice president of JK Sucralose US Inc.

Tate & Lyle, one of the world's largest sugar companies, lodged a complaint against three Chinese sucralose manufacturers with the US International Trade Commission in April 2007, claiming the Chinese companies' products sold in the US infringed its intellectual property.

Based in Jiangsu Province, east China, JK Sucralose also has sales and quality control operations in the US.

"JK Sucralose was not among the three companies accused by Tate & Lyle, but the company, fearing an ITC ruling could possibly deny it access to the US market, took the initiative to join the investigation and fought hard to prove its innocence some three months after Tate & Lyle lodged the complaint," said Ye.

According to US regulations, in the event of a complaint, the ITC begins an investigation and only companies whose products the ITC confirm do not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of the accusing company can enter the US market. The products of other companies, accused or not, are blocked.

Globally, the high-intensity sweetener market is worth US$1.3 billion. North America is the world's largest market.

The ITC ruled on April 6 this year that the products of JK Sucralose sold in the US did not infringe on the °?intellectual property rights of Tate & Lyle.


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