After the Department of Appeal at the Japan Patent Office ruled in February that the Honeywell International patent for refrigerant 410A was invalid, Ineos Chemicals has entered the market and begun to market the refrigerant in Japan.

Refrigerant 410A is a room air conditioning cooling catalyst for which Honeywell has patents globally. However, in August 2006 Ineos Chemicals filed a request for a trial for patent invalidation and as a result, it was later ruled in February this year that the Honeywell patent was invalid.

Honeywell has further appealed the decision, though the Gas Review reports that in the meantime Ineos Chemicals has embarked on its marketing of the product and aims to market around 1,000 tonnes annually.

Refrigerant 410A is a gas substitute for HCFC22 scheduled for abolishment as a global warming substance, with the gas in question a 50/50 mixture of HFC125 and HFC32. Honeywell is the actual developer of 410A, with sales in Japan limited to just three companies until present, and the company remains resolute in its grounds for appeal.

As deliberation of the issue rumbles on, Ineos Chemicals President H. Ikuma commented, “We decided to get into the market in view of the trial decision on the part of the Department of Appeal to rule the patent as invalid. Within two years time we would like to market 1,000 tonnes annually, mainly as aftermarket sales.”

Honeywell has also delivered its view of the situation, with a formal comment from its US headquarters explaining, “We are currently making an appeal regarding the 410A patent in Japan.”