August 2014

Plastics of Tomorrow

Noerr and Eisenführ Speiser provide consulting support to SPC for joint venture and global bioplastics licensing agreement with Cargill, the US agribusiness group.

August 2014: Noerr, the business law firm, and Eisenführ Speiser, the IP boutique law firm, have jointly provided legal advice to Sunflower Plastic Compound GmbH (SPC) for creating a joint venture and concluding a complex global patent licensing system with Cargill Incorporated, the internationally operating agribusiness corporation. SPC holds patents for S2PC®, an innovative biocomposite plastic based on the husks of sunflower seeds. The material is significantly less expensive and more sustainable than plastics based purely on crude oil. However, its technical properties are similar to those of conventional plastics, which makes it vastly superior to other biocomposite plastics. This synthetic material is also more biodegradeable than the latter. Husks of sunflower seeds are a waste product from the production of edible oil.

The joint venture will invest an eight-digit amount to install a pilot plant. It will market S2PC® products in German-speaking countries and will advance the technology further. SPC and Cargill are equal partners in the joint venture. As the exclusive licensee of SPC, Cargill will use and exploit the new technology worldwide.

The consulting effort involved a number of complex issues in the fields of company, patent, antitrust and tax law. One particular challenge was to design the innovative global patent licensing system that allows the technology to be exploited and developed on a long-term basis.

The European Commission has already granted antitrust approval to the joint venture.

Consultants to Sunflower Plastic Compound GmbH:

Dr Hans Radau (company law, London), Dr Ralph Nack (licensing law, patent law, Munich), both lead consultants, Dr Christiane Zedelius (distribution antitrust law, Munich), Helge Heinrich (antitrust law, Brussels)
Associates: Katharina Pehle (patent law, Munich), Philipp Schröler (patent law, Düsseldorf), Lita Schmitz (antitrust law, Munich)

Eisenführ Speiser
Klaus G. Göken (patent law, licensing law, patent applications, strategy consulting)

Network Corporate Finance
Dietmar Thiele (M&A Advisory, financial consulting and project management)

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