TORONTO, Canada, January 24, 2019 – Neo Chemicals & Oxides (Europe) Ltd., an affiliate of Neo Performance Materials Inc. (“Neo”, the “Company”) (TSX:NEO), won a major court decision in Germany last week as the Federal Patent Court in Munich revoked the German designation of a key patent (EP 1435338) that had been claimed by Solvay Special Chem Japan Ltd. (“Solvay”), an affiliate of Brussels-based Solvay SA, on a cerium oxide-based product used to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions in diesel vehicle engines.
The patent revocation marks another significant step toward restoring access by Neo’s customers in the German market to Neo’s market-leading vehicle emissions catalyst products, which are helping vehicle manufacturers meet increasingly stringent air pollution standards in markets around the world.
“We are very gratified by this decision to revoke a patent that clearly does not meet German patentability standards,” said Geoff Bedford, Neo’s President and CEO. “This is a major win for Neo in our continuing efforts to protect our customers’ access to Neo’s cost-effective emissions vehicle catalyst materials.”
In light of the ruling, Neo is confident that the Appeal Court will stay enforcement of the 2017 judgment by the Mannheim Regional Court and suspend the infringement proceedings. The Mannheim Court had found that some of Neo’s vehicle emissions catalyst products infringe the German designation of EP 1435338. Neo has appealed this decision to the Higher Regional Court Karslruhe. A stay of enforcement would permit Neo to resume the sale of its ceric oxide products in Germany.
The revocation decision by the German Federal Patent Court is subject to appeal.
Neo produces a range of innovative rare-earth-based vehicle emissions catalyst products. Global demand for these catalysts is growing, and Neo supplies innovative and highly efficient rare earth-based materials to the world’s leading emissions catalyst manufacturers.
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