ST. PAUL, Minn.–3M announced today that it requested dismissal of CDW Corp. and Hitachi Koki USA from the U.S. International Trade Commission investigation over lithium ion battery technology and a parallel patent suit in the District of Minnesota. 3M requested dismissal after CDW and Hitachi Koki certified that they import and sell batteries containing 3Ms patented cathode materials only from manufacturers licensed by 3M as part of prior settlements.
Major battery manufacturers Panasonic Corp. of North America, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., Sony Corp., Sony Electronics, Inc., Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd., and Sanyo Energy U.S.A. Corp. reached earlier settlements in which they became licensed sources of batteries containing 3Ms patented cathode materials. 3M also reached settlements with Batteries.com, Lenovo (US) Inc., and Lenovo Group Ltd. following certifications that their batteries containing 3Ms patented cathode materials come only from 3M licensed sources.
“We are pleased that all of the suits related to our battery cathode patents are now settled and that the industry has recognized 3Ms patent rights and the value of 3Ms advanced cathode materials,” said Nagraj Koneripalli, business manager, 3M Electronics. “We look forward to becoming a major supplier of advanced cathode materials, as well as metal alloy anodes, electrolyte salts, solvents, and additives, to the industry.”
3Ms cathode materials containing nickel, manganese and cobalt are an important technology for current and next generation lithium ion batteries. Lithium ion batteries are a preferred source of power for laptop computers, mobile phones and portable electronic devices, and are an emerging source of power for battery-powered hand tools and hybrid electric vehicles. Over the past decade, 3M has invested significant resources in design, development and commercialization of advanced material technologies for lithium ion battery applications.
3M’s actions are consistent with its corporate intellectual property policy to protect 3M’s substantial investments in new technology and in research and development by obtaining, maintaining and enforcing intellectual property rights in inventions.
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