The use of zero Valent iron with organic carbon-based materials for environmental remediation

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Ontario, Canada -- The purpose of this release is to state our position concerning the use of zero valent iron (ZVI) in conjunction with organic carbon-based material for remediation of soil or groundwater containing halogenated organics or nitroaromatics. We are aware of considerable confusion and speculation in the industry concerning our intellectual property (IP) rights in this area, and this letter is meant to provide clarification.

Adventus’ IP rights that pertain to these applications include several patents owned by Adventus. In particular, U.S. Patents No. 5,618,427 (8 April 1997) and No. 6,083,394 (4 July 2004) describe a composition and method for remediation of soil, sediment, or water containing halogenated or nitroaromatic contaminants by providing a metallic reducing agent (for example zero valent iron, ZVI) and an insoluble organic material. The claims in these patents cover broad ranges of metallic reducing agents, organic materials, and reducing agent/organic material ratios. Comparable patents were issued and are in good standing in the following countries:
Brazilian Pat. No. P19303902.6; Canadian Pat. No. 2079282; Canadian Pat. No. 2212819; Columbian Pat. No. 26253; Czech Republic Patent No. 287711; Danish Pat. No. 595441; Dutch Pat. No. 595441; French Pat. No. 595441; French Pat. No. 809609; German Pat. No. 69309845.7; German Pat. No. 69602085.8; Great Britain Pat. No. 595441; Great Britain Pat. No. 809609; Hungarian Pat. No. 219650; Irish Pat. No. 0595441; Irish Pat. No. 809609; Italian Pat. No. 595441; Mexico Pat. No. 186247; Spanish Pat. No. 93250256; Swedish Pat. No. 93250256; Venezuela Patent No. 1313/93.

Thus, remediation projects involving, for example, the use of ZVI plus plant material to remediate soil or groundwater are likely to be within the scope of the claims of these patents.

There is a widely held misconception that if a patent is granted on an integrated process, then the integrated process does not infringe earlier-issued patents. In fact, most patents issued are improvement patents pursuant to which the commercial exploitation infringes a pre-existing patent. When the two patents are not co-owned, royalties must be paid to the original patent holder when someone operates under an independent improvement patent (assuming as in this case the patent owner is willing to grant such licenses). Another misconception is that only the manufacturer is liable for patent infringement: under the law, anyone in the supply chain is liable to the patent holder (although they may have upstream indemnification from a manufacturer).

Many firms with their own proprietary or patented bioremediation amendments, emplacement/injection methods, and/or specific project needs have already respected our intellectual property rights and signed license agreements with us. These firms have not found the license terms onerous, and have indeed benefited from our technical input on their projects and other forms of collaboration, which are provided as part of the license agreement.

In closing, Adventus is committed to enforcing its IP rights. We believe that it is unfair to the licensees who do respect patent law, and thus obtain a license, to be at a cost disadvantage to those who abuse our IP. We remain willing to grant reasonable licenses under our U.S., Canadian, South American, and European Patents to consultants, to remediation contractors, and end users.

About Adventus Group – Environmental Biotechnologies for the 21st Century

Adventus Europe GmbH is an affiliate corporation within the Adventus Group, offering the European continent an expanding portfolio of superior environmental remediation technologies. The business model is designed to support final clients, environmental engineers, consultants, regulators, and the academic community by providing design and selection of cost-effective remediation strategies. This proprietary portfolio includes:

  • In Situ Chemical Reduction (ISCR™) technologies:
    • DARAMEND® for soils, sludges and sediments;
    • EHC® portfolio of injectable amendments for groundwater;
    • EHC-L® liquid formulation for wells and other networks;  
    • EHC-M® for immobilization of soluble metal impacts;
    • ZVI PRBs and related groundwater treatment innovations;
    • ZVI-Clay for in situ source zone treatment;  
  • EHC-O®  oxygen releasing compound for in situ hydrocarbon treatment;  
    • O-SOX™ canister delivery system;
  • ISGS™ in situ geochemical stabilization of DNAPL;  
  • AquaBlok® for in situ sub-aqueous capping and treatment of sediments;  
  • AquaBlok+™ for capping and treatment of impacted sediments;  
  • HoleBlok+™ down-well, low-permeability sealant;
  • mGCW™ microbiologically enhanced Groundwater Circulation Wells;  
  • Modeling Services for optimization of remedial designs and strategies.  

The Adventus scientific team is a recognized practice leader, with over 500 Abstracts published within the industry. Through Summer 2011, we have successfully treated over 9,000,000 metric tons of soil impacted by hazardous wastes ― and millions of gallons of groundwater ― at over 1,000 sites around the globe.

The Adventus family of companies is always seeking strategic partnerships with complementary remediation biotechnologies, and qualified international licensees in numerous countries. For more information please contact Michael Mueller at mike.mueller@adventusgroup.com or visit us online at www.AdventusGroup.com

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