E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Foreign Relations Dept.
Hagley Museum & Library
Manuscripts & Archives Department
P.O. Box 3630
Wilmington, DE 19807-0630
7 linear ft.
In 1929 E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company signed an agreement with the recently formed British combine, Imperial Chemical Industries, Ltd. to exchange scientific information on a routine basis. Part of the reason for devising this agreement was to permit ICI and the Du Pont Company to divide world markets without violating the Sherman Antitrust Act. Du Pont and ICI agreed to grant each other exclusive licenses for patents and secret processes owned by the other, thereby dividing world markets for their diverse products. The agreement also led to extensive sharing of scientific and technical information. Coordination of this agreement was initially the responsibility of the Executive Committee which appointed a Foreign Relations subcommittee for this purpose. However, by 1930 it became evident that detailed coordination required the kind of day-to-day monitoring that could not be done by the Executive Committee. As a result a formal Foreign Relations Department was organized. It was renamed the International Department in 1958. The records in this series document the Du Pont Company's patent and process agreement with ICI. Also included is departmental head, John K. Kenney's correspondence which describes the rules, policies, and procedures which governed the exchange of technical information. The records describe how this exchange took place via technical delegations. They also clearly show that the British never fully appreciated the fact that Du Pont saw the contract primarily as a sharing of patents and processes rather than markets.