Umicore reports that in a mixed initial determination by an administrative law judge at the US International Trade Commission (ITC), it was confirmed that Umicore did not directly infringe or induce infringement of patents asserted against it by German chemical company BASF.

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,’ said Kurt Vandeputte, vice president of Umicore's rechargeable battery materials business unit. According to Umicore, additional scientific evidence published by disinterested third parties after the conclusion of the hearing further confirmed its view of the science and resolved the industry debate concerning the nature of the pertinent cathode materials.

The case will next 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 US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

This story uses material from Umicore, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.