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European Commission investigates Honeywell and DuPont over R1234yf refrigerant patents

EC competition authorities are investigating complaints that the developers of R1234yf refrigerant did not grant ‘fair and reasonable’ licenses

The European Commission has opened antitrust proceedings concerning agreements between Honeywell and DuPont for the development of the HFO refrigerant R1234yf for car air conditioning systems.

The Commission said it is investigating complaints alleging that the two companies have entered into anti-competitive arrangements regarding the development of the new generation of refrigerants. Specifically, the Commission will investigate whether joint development, licensing and production arrangements entered into between the two companies in relation to these refrigerants restrict competition on the markets.

The Commission said it is also examining the allegation that Honeywell did not disclose its patents and patent applications while the refrigerant was being assessed and then failed to grant licences on ‘fair and reasonable terms’.

Both companies said they were confident that they complied with the law.

Honeywell said in a statement: “Honeywell is confident that our practices are consistent with the law and that the Commission will conclude that we acted in full compliance with European Union competition rules.”

Rival refrigerant manufacturer Arkema said that it had formally complained to the EC in April over the status of R1234yf patents


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