The Makhteshim Agan Group (MAI) announced that on Jan. 9, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina ruled in favor of the company regarding litigation initiated by BASF Agro BV and Bayer SAS in April 2010. The court granted a motion for summary judgment, and found that Makhteshim Agan North America's (MANA) and Control Solution Inc.'s (CSI) fipronil insecticide product, would not infringe the patents remaining in litigation (U.S. Patent Nos. 6,414,010 and 6,825,743).
In June 2011, MAI’s affiliate CSI launched sales of fipronil based products under the brand names Taurus for the professional pest control market and Prefurred for companion animal use. MAI’s Taurus is the first major generic version of fipronil, a widely-used broad spectrum insecticide, to become available in the US.
Commenting on the news, Shaul Friedland, Head of MAI’s Americas region said, “The addition of fipronil to our product portfolio has strengthened our position as a comprehensive provider of simple effective crop protection and related solutions, and has further broadened our capabilities to supply more solutions to our customers. In creating Taurus, MAI has taken advantage of novel, advanced technologies to design a new manufacturing process these capabilities will continue to support our portfolio expansion. We plan to launch new fipronil-based products to other markets.”
Mark Boyd, President and CEO of CSI, added, “We are delighted that the North Carolina Court has ruled in our favor, confirming that our products do not impinge on the patents of any of our competitors. We are proud to lead the industry by offering simple, effective solutions for all uses and pleased with the market reception so far.”
Fipronil is utilized for termite prevention and treatment, flea and tick control, and as a broad-spectrum insecticide for crop markets in a variety of branded products throughout the world. The active ingredient is used in crop protection mainly for treatment of cotton, potatoes, rice and seed treatment in addition to broad uses for non-crop applications.