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Appealed from: U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Judge Edward Rafeedie

Biocorp, Inc. and Novamont S.p.A. (together “defendants”) appeal the judgment of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, *fn1 entered upon a jury verdict that certain biodegradable starch-based products infringe United States Patents Nos. 5,362,777 (the ’777 patent) and 5,280,055 (the ’055 patent). The patents are owned by Biotec Biologische Naturverpackungen GmbH, and cover certain inventions of Dr. Ivan Tomka relating to a product called “thermoplastically processable starch” (TPS). According to these inventions starch such as that of wheat, potatoes, or corn is modified to produce TPS, a biodegradable polymeric material that can be shaped into plastic-type articles by standard thermoplastic processing techniques, typically injection molding or extrusion. The patented product is described as an important improvement on prior starch-based plastics, a witness calling the Tomka TPS “a landmark in starch polymer material.”

 
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