Amended complaint filed in federal trademark infringement case against Syngenta

Amelia Flood Jul. 27, 2010, 9:53am

The plaintiff in a federal suit filed against a Swiss agricultural products company has filed an amended complaint less than a month after entering his first complaint.

Plaintiff Ted Sprague is suing Syngenta AG of Basel, Switzerland, Syngenta Crop Protection Inc., and Syngenta Corporation for allegedly mismarking articles with expired patents in order to deceive its competitors.

The original suit was filed in June. The amended complaint was filed July 6.

Sprague is represented by Paul Lesko and Jo Anna Pollock of the firm of Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC of East Alton.

The Syngenta defendants have yet to file answers to either the original or amended complaint in the suit.

Defense has moved twice to extend the time in which the companies can answer.

In the amended complaint, Sprague claims that Syngenta has intentionally sold product with mismarked or expired patent numbers.

The purpose of the false labeling, according to the claims in the suit, is to thwart competition.

The suit claims that the Switzerland-based Syngenta AG controls the other two Syngenta companies and that it directed the two to knowingly introduce the products with the mismarked patent numbers into the marketplace in Illinois and throughout the country.

Products include Amber, Bicep Lite, Callisto, Northstar and others.

Sprague claims the expired patent numbers are found on the companies' products and Web sites.

The suit seeks damages of $500 per instance of false marking or an amount set by the court, an injunction, costs, attorney's fees and other relief.

U.S. District Judge J. Phil Gilbert presides.

Margaret Duncan and Michael Pope of McDermott Will & Emery of Chicago represent the defendants. Kurtis Reeg of the Reeg Law Firm of St. Louis also represents the

Reeg is also the lead Syngenta attorney in a series of class actions filed by water providers against the company in Madison County court.

A federal suit with nearly identical claims to the Madison County suits brought by water providers in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio and other states is also pending against the companies.

The federal Syngenta case is case number 3:10 CV 00462 JPG.

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