The Dutch cattle-breeding market is one of the largest in the world.
To increase the production of meat, these animals receive food containing the additive L-lysine, an amino acid that is an essential building block of proteins and helps optimise the growth of animals.
The production of L-lysine is therefore a profitable business. The Japanese company Ajinomoto is the world’s largest L-lysine producer and owner of three relevant European patents. The patents are registered for numerous countries, including The Netherlands, for the process of producing the amino acid L-Lysine using genetically modified bacteria.
According to Ajinomoto, the Chinese company Global Bio-Chem Technology Group (GBT) and its European distributors infringe the patents. Ajinomoto started legal proceedings against GBT. The Court of Appeal at The Hague recently rendered an interlocutory decision in the litigation. Ajinimoto stated that GBT directly or indirectly infringed its patents and asked GBT to cease and desist.