LONDON (AP) -- Shares in sugar and sweeteners company Tate & Lyle PLC dropped 5 percent on Tuesday after it revealed that a U.S. court had ruled against its bid to ban imports of certain Chinese sweeteners to the United States.
Tate & Lyle had wanted to block the import of Chinese imports of sweeteners made with sucralose, the sugar alternative commonly sold under the brand name Splenda.
But the U.S. International Trade Commission rejected the British-based company's argument that four Chinese manufacturers of sucralose were violating its patent rights.
Tate & Lyle said it will review the ruling to consider a possible appeal through the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.
Sucralose, which contains no sugar and is instead sweetened with a synthetic compound through a complex chemical process, is among the higher-margin products on which Tate has focused.
"While this development is disappointing, intellectual property is just one of the many components which define Tate & Lyle's formidable competitive advantage in the global sucralose business," said Karl Kramer, the president of Tate & Lyle Sucralose.
Tate & Lyle shares were 5 percent lower at 274.75 pence in midmorning trade on the London Stock Exchange.