Adventus Asserts Decontamination Patents Against AST and Calgon

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EnviroMetal Technologies, Inc. (ETI) is a Canadian company that provides processes for treating contaminated groundwater.  ETI is the exclusive licensee of several patents relating to groundwater remediation technology.

Last month ETI, along with Adventus Americas, Inc. (the sub-licensee of the patents), both part of the Adventus Group (collectively “Adventus”), sued AST Environmental, Inc.  and Calgon Carbon Corp. (collectively “Defendants”) in federal court in Charlotte, North Carolina, alleging infringement of six of the licensed patents.

According to the complaint (adventus_complaint.pdf), Defendants are infringing the patents by making and selling BOS 100, a reactant that removes the chlorine from chlorinated contaminants.

The complaint also accuses Defendants of deceiving potential Adventus customers through misrepresentations and unsubstantiated claims about the performance of BOS 100 in violation of North Carolina’s deceptive trade practices statute.

The asserted patents are directed to methods of cleaning groundwater that has been contaminated with chlorinated or halogenated organic compounds such as PCBs and pesticides. 

According to the patents, prior processes collected the pollutants from the water, which created a disposal problem.  The disclosed methods break down the pollutants in the water instead.

Some of the claimed decontamination methods include:

contacting the groundwater with an anaerobic portion of a metal to replace a chlorine ion or other halogen ion with a hydroxide ion (U.S. Patent No. 5,266,213, or ‘213 patent);

passing contaminated water through a mixture of an adsorptive material such as activated carbon and a metal to break down the contaminant (U.S. Patent No. 5,534,154, or ‘154 patent); and

promoting decomposition or degradation of halogens or other chemical contaminants in water by adding multi-valent metal particles and fibrous organic matter that supports bacterial or fungal growth (U.S. Patents Nos. 5,411,664, 5,480,579, 5,618,427 and 6,083,394).

This is not the first lawsuit involving this technology.  Remediation Products, Inc. (RPI) is a Golden, Colorado company that makes and sells the BOS 100 product and owns U.S. Trademark Registration No. 2,863,360 (bos_100_-reg.pdf) for the BOS 100 mark.  In April 2007, RPI sued Adventus and ETI in federal court in Charlotte requesting a declaratory judgment that the BOS 100 does not infringe the ‘213 and 154 patents and that the patents are invalid (rpi_complaint.pdf).

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Eric Lane

Eric Lane, the founder and principal of Green Patent Law, is an intellectual property lawyer and registered U.S. patent attorney in New York and is a member of the bar in New York and California. Eric has more than two decades of experience working with wind, solar PV, CSP, biofuels, and geothermal, energy storage technologies, carbon capture and sequestration, medical devices, data communications, mechanical, chemical, internet and software.