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Agilent settles intellectual property dispute over gas chromatography tech

Agilent Technologies Inc. settled an intellectual property dispute with two China-based companies and several former Agilent employees relating to the company's gas chromatography technology.

Gas chromatography is a technique that separates mixtures into individual components and is generally used to identify components and to measure their concentrations.

As part of the settlement agreement, Changzhou Pannatek Co. Ltd. and Shanghai Echrom Technologies Co. Ltd. admitted to obtaining, without Agilent's permission, technical drawings and documents carrying Agilent's trade secrets by violating the company's confidentiality requirements.

The two Chinese companies manufactured nearly identical gas chromatography products using the procured information, Agilent said in a July 31 press release.

Specific financial terms of the settlement deal were not disclosed. However, the China-based companies are required to pay damages to Agilent, destroy all the technical drawings and documents carrying Agilent's inside information and immediately cease the production and the sale of products using Agilent's trade secrets.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based life sciences company also claimed that the former employees named in the lawsuit used intellectual property based on its gas chromatography technology to make and sell products for Shanghai-based Echrom.

Agilent had filed a lawsuit against Changzhou Pannatek in 2018, following a civil lawsuit against Echrom Technologies a year before over the gas chromatography technology issue.