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Umicores statement on ITC judge's initial determination in patent case

Regional website Germany

In a mixed initial determination by an administrative law judge at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) earlier today, it was confirmed that Umicore did not directly infringe or induce infringement of patents asserted against it by BASF, a German chemical company. The initial determination did, however, find that Umicore contributed to the infringement of these patents with respect to certain activities, including testing and evaluation, solely in the United States.

“We remain steadfast in our view that the scientific evidence presented in court precludes the possibility of any patent infringement and we very much intend on presenting our view to the Commission,” commented Kurt Vandeputte, Vice President of Umicore’s Rechargeable Battery Materials business unit. Indeed, additional scientific evidence published by disinterested third parties after the conclusion of the hearing further confirmed Umicore’s view of the science and resolved the industry debate concerning the nature of the pertinent cathode materials.

As a next step, the case will be subject to review by the full Commission, which is expected to issue a final determination in June of this year.

In parallel to the ITC proceedings, Umicore is challenging the validity of the related patents at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

About Umicore

Umicore is a global materials technology and recycling group. It focuses on application areas in which its expertise in materials science, chemistry and metallurgy makes a real difference. Its activities are organised in three business groups: Catalysis, Energy & Surface Technologies and Recycling. Each business group is divided into market-focused business units offering materials and solutions that are at the cutting edge of new technological developments and essential to everyday life.

The Rechargeable Battery Materials business unit of Umicore has been a global leader in the development and production of cathode materials for lithium ion rechargeable batteries since the mid-1990s. Its products are at the heart of advances in its customers’ technology that drive ever-improving range and performance for electrified vehicles and improved durability and functionality in consumer electronics.