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A123 Systems, Hydro-Quebec, and the University of Texas settle lithium metal phosphate battery chemistry patent dispute

A123 Systems, Hydro Québec, and the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System, on behalf of the University of Texas at Austin (UT) have settled their patent disputes regarding lithium metal phosphate technologies, entering into a Settlement Agreement and related Patent Sublicense Agreement that will resolve the existing litigations and create licenses going forward. All litigations will be dismissed and a license under these patents will be granted to A123, as agreed by the parties, under the settlement.

In July 2011, Hydro-Québec, Süd-Chemie, Université de Montréal and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), created an alliance which resulted in the formation of LiFePO4+C Licensing AG, a Swiss-based entity, to promote the broad-based global marketing and licensing of technologies related to lithium metal phosphates, including the lithium metal phosphate patents involved in the present dispute. The alliance has previously granted four sublicenses to these technologies. (Earlier post.)

Under the terms of the Patent Sublicense Agreement, A123 receives rights to lithium metal phosphate patents developed at UT, a family of electrode material carbon-coating patents, and several lithium metal phosphate patents licensed to Hydro-Québec by Nippon Telephone and Telegraph (NTT). In return, LiFePO4+C Licensing AG receives rights to two recent battery material patents from A123. The A123 patents cross-licensed in this agreement are separate from the original Nanophosphate patents from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which are not included as part of this settlement. The financial terms of the settlement are not being disclosed at this time.

The market has recognized the ability of phosphate-based lithium ion technology to meet the growing demand for reliable, high-performance energy storage in transportation, grid and commercial applications. We believe this agreement represents a win-win for the entire industry by paving the way for faster adoption.

—Dave Vieau, CEO of A123 Systems



Multi-party patents cross-licensing may be a more civilized way to settle similar disputes. It would accelerate the arrival of new products to the market place and leave expensive (delaying) patent lawyers out of it.

john mcavoy

Patent attorneys do the bidding of their corporate and/or r&d clients. Might as well blame telephones and papermills

HarveyD know that's not so!

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