The Opposition Board of the European Patent Office (EPO) has revoked the European Patent granted to the University of Texas (UT) relating to lithium metal phosphates. The decision is a win for Valence Technology, a developer of lithium phosphate energy storage solutions.
Valence had initiated opposition proceedings in the EPO on July 27, 2005, against the grant of the European Patent held by the University of Texas alleging that it lacked novelty. As a result of the decision, European Patent number 0904607, originally issued to UT, has been revoked by the EPO in its entirety. The decision to revoke the patent can be appealed by UT.
The decision revoking the Goodenough et. al. UT European Patent eliminates any risk that UT could assert the European Patent against Valence’s proprietary lithium iron magnesium phosphate cathode material.
Today’s decision by the European Patent Office was an important one for our company. By revoking the European Patent, the cloud of any possible patent infringement claim under the UT European Patent has been removed affirming Valence’s unrestricted right to market its unique, patented lithium phosphate powder batteries in Europe. The decision will allow us to more fully pursue European OEMs, who are the world leaders in electric vehicles. We have already established the proven performance and supply capability for our innovative battery solutions, and now our unrestricted right to market our proprietary lithium phosphate based energy storage solutions in Europe has been confirmed.—Robert L. Kanode, president and CEO of Valence Technology, Inc.