Smurfit Kappa, Europe's leading corrugated and paper-based packaging company, has completed a major machinery upgrade to its mill in response to surging demand for paper-based alternatives to plastic packaging. The company has a pending US patent application directed to a process for enhancing the compressive strength of paper or board manufactured from a papermaking pulp, which shows that it is currently investing in IP and growing. In fact, Smurfit Kappa has acquired a series of European paper firms such as Reparenco and Papcart after avoiding a take-over last year by International Paper, the largest pulp and paper company in the world. Although International Paper has a larger patent portfolio reflective of its bigger size, it has not filed any patent applications in the past 5 years. Smurfit Kappa may have chosen to remain independent because it is confident in its currently expanding intellectual property.