Tyson Foods Sued by Neste Over Chicken-Fat Fuel Patent

Tyson Foods Inc., the largest U.S. meat processor, was sued by Finland’s Neste Oil Oyj for infringing a patent on motor fuels made partly from chicken fat.

Neste contends Dynamic Fuels LLC, a joint venture between Springdale, Arkansas-based Tyson and Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Syntroleum Corp., is making a product that violates a new patent for NExBTL diesel fuel.

“Defendants have no license or other authorization to use the inventions” and owe damages, Neste said in a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware. The Espoo, Finland-based company has invested 1.5 billion euros ($1.86 billion) in diesel production, according to a statement.

“Syntroleum has not infringed any of Neste’s alleged patent rights and Syntroleum intends vigorously to defend against the complaint’s allegations, and is confident that its position will be vindicated,” the company said in a statement.

Gary Mickelson, a spokesman for Tyson, deferred comment to Syntroleum.

Syntroleum argues that the patent in question is related to another diesel fuel patent of Neste’s, according to the statement. Upon reexamination that patent was thrown out by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office because “the fuel composition as claimed would have been obvious to one of ordinary skill in the art.”

The case is Neste Oil Oyj v. Dynamic Fuels LLC, 12-cv-662, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To see the patent, click: 8,187,344.