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Polymers, Patents, Profits: A Classic Case Study for Patent Infighting

ISBN: 978-3-527-61039-6
294 pages
February 2007
Polymers, Patents, Profits: A Classic Case Study for Patent Infighting (3527610391) cover image


This is the fascinating, first-hand story of the groundbreaking invention by Nobel prizewinner Karl Ziegler and the patent fights between his research team at the Max Planck Institute of Carbon Research in Germany and the "giants" of the petrochemicals industry, such as Du Pont and Esso. The author joined Ziegler's group throughout the entire period, providing an entertaining case study of an innovative chemical discovery, presenting interesting historical as well as scientific information.
An impressive example of the fights between academia and industry concerning patent rights and the economic utilization of academic research innovations.
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Table of Contents

First Observations 1950/1953
Standard Oil of India
Philips Petroleum Company
Du Pont
Max-Planck-Institute, Muhlheim on the Ruhr
K.Ziegler, H.Breil, E.Holzkamp and h.Martin
Experiments between May and December, 1953
Experiments December 1953 to April 1954
Letter from Ziegler to his Patent Attorney von Kreisler
Montecatini, Milano/G. Natta and Coworkers
First Experiments with Ziegler-Catalysts
Natta, Orsoni and DeVarda's Visit to Ziegler at Muhlheim on May 19,1954
K.Ziegler and Coworkers
H.Martin-Experiments May-July 6, 1954, H.Breil -
Masters Thesis
H.Martin -
July 1954: Polypropylene
1952 to 1954 Polypropylene (Review)
Appraising the Historical Course of the Invention from a Year 2000 Vantage Point
Farbwerke Hoechst
Petrochemicals Limited
Steinkohlenberbauverein (Hard Coal Mining Society) /
Bergwerksverband (Mine Association)/
Ruhr Area Coal Industry
The "Run" of Prospective U.S. Licensees
Gulf Oil, Koppers, Dow, Union Carbide und Monsanto
Esso, the Straggler
Du Pont
Mitsui Chemical, the First Japanese Licensee
Back to the Ruhr: Ruhrcoal and Bergwerksverband
August through December 1954: Montecatini steps up its own developments
The first Ziegler/Montecatini Pool-Agreements
Karl Ziegler and H.Martin/
Max-Planck-Institut fur Kohlenforschung
S.E. Horne/Goodrich Gulf Chemicals Inc.
Giulio Natta and Coworkers/Montecatini
D.R.Smith and R.P. Zelinski/Phillips Petroleum Co
The Package of the First Six German Patent Applications
Foreign Patent Protection for the Inventions of Ziegler and Coworkers
The Situation in the United States
Polypropylene: Ziegler/Natta, Conflict as to the Priority
Contentions Proceedings
Du Pont
Compromise and Concessions
Du Pont Sought Further Advantages
The History of Patent Issuance from a Year 2000 Vantage Point
The Market Situation
The Rush for Licenses 1953-1972, Lucrative Second Half 1970-1990
The Marketing of Ziegler Polyolefins
Montecatini's Poll Polyolefin Licenses
Research and Production
First "new" so-called independent Catalysts
The Split between Montecatini and Ziegler in United States
Hercules, Esso, Phillips, Dart Seek Advantages
Infringement Action Ziegler versus Phillips Petroleum
Hercules forces Ziegler, into legal action against Dart
Between Dallas and New Orleans
Eastman Kodak
Max Fischer, Over and Over
Amoco, Arco and Novamont Launch New Attacks
18 Years of Feud with Dart
Liability Determination
Decision Concerning the Amount of Damages
A Tentative Record of the '115 Patent
Lex Ziegler
Product Patent Protection for "Polypropylene"
"High-Speed-" or "High Mileage-" or "Ziegler-Catalysts of the Second and Third Generation
Nippons Export of Automobiles in the United States
"The last Chapter"
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Author Information

Heinz Martin has been a close colleague of Prof. Ziegler at the Max-Planck-Institute of Carbon Research in Muhlheim/Ruhr (Germany) and played an important key role in the invention of Ziegler's Polyolefine catalysts in 1953/54. In 1970 he became Co-director of the Studien- und Verwertungs GmbH (founded in 1925), which became the Studiengesellschaft Kohle GmbH in 1955, a trustee of the MPI in Muhlheim, with H. Martin as director.
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"The text is set out in five chapters and includes several hundred references, so is very comprehensive.... This volume has something for the historian of the modern chemical industry, and also for the specialist interested on how the patent system works." (Materials World, February 2009)

"The book offers eloquent testimony of how difficult and costly it is to convert research results into commercial success stories." (RFP, 1/2008)

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