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Novamont: Validity of Our Patents Acknowledged

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Novara, Italy -- On Friday 16 April last, the Paris Law Court issued the first-instance sentence in the case brought by Novamont against the German company Biotec and certain companies of the French group Sphere, respectively, the manufacturer and distributors of certain starch-based products which, it was alleged by Novamont, infringed its patents protecting first generation Mater-Bi.

The Court found two Novamont patents to be fully valid and a third patent to be partially invalid while also finding that Novamont had not provided proof of the infringement. Not entering into the merit of the case, the Court noted that the analyses on samples of the products of the summoned companies had not been conducted in a two-party process.

Novamont greeted with satisfaction the fact that its important patents were considered valid and remains convinced that they will be declared to have been infringed when it comes to examining the aspects of substance of the dispute. Novamont will therefore pursue with the greatest conviction its actions against the infringement of its patents, and in particular those currently pending before the Italian Courts.

Novamont CEO, Catia Bastioli, stated: "This ruling confirms the validity and worth of our intellectual property and encourages us in our efforts to produce and protect it. We are convinced that, once the formal aspects have been cleared up, our exclusive rights will be enforced in France as well.

After the launch of the first second generation Mater-Bi products, protected by a host of patents, we shall continue with our investments to make third generation mater-Bi industrially available.”

Novamont SpA, whose shares are held by Banca Intesa San Paolo and Investitori Associati, is leader in the production of bioplastics manufactured with renewable raw materials of agricultural origin. With 173 employees (30% of them working in R&D), it invested more than 10% of its total sales in 2009 (the equivalent of 63.6 million Euro) in research and development. It boasts an overall production capacity of 80,000 tons per year. The company holds a patent portfolio that includes 90 patent families and 800 internationally registered patents. It is based in Novara and its manufacturing plants are in Terni. It operates directly or through its distributors in Germany, France, Benelux, Scandinavia, Denmark, the UK, the US, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

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