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February 13, 2024

King & Spalding Secures Victory for BASF in Delaware Antitrust Suit

King & Spalding secured another victory for BASF Corporation in its antitrust suit against Ingevity Corporation. On February 13, 2024, a Delaware federal district court denied Ingevity’s motion for judgment as a matter of law and motion for a new trial. A jury previously found that Ingevity unlawfully monopolized the market for carbon honeycombs used in automotive-emissions control by locking customers into long-term exclusive agreements and requiring customers wishing to license a Ingevity patent to also purchase unpatented carbon honeycombs. The jury also found that Ingevity had intentionally interfered with a prospective business relationship between BASF and a customer. The jury awarded BASF $28.3 million in damages, which was automatically trebled under the antitrust laws to $84.9 million. The team also secured dismissal of all of Ingevity’s original patent infringement claims against BASF. In his February 13th decision, U.S. District Judge Richard G. Andrews upheld the verdict, concluding that substantial evidence supported the jury’s finding that carbon honeycombs are “staple goods” and thus not patent protected. Judge Andrews also rejected Ingevity’s attempts to overturn the damages award, holding that the opinions of BASF’s expert economist were supported by the facts presented at trial.