3M offloads cathode patents to Umicore, as it focuses on silicon
Umicore has acquired from 3M the ownership of three Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) patent families for cathode materials that are the reference in a wide range of lithium ion rechargeable batteries.
The deal sees Umicore acquire all existing and future licensing rights to the three patents (US6964828 – Lu-Dahn, US6660432 – Paulsen, US7211237 – Eberman) that it had previously been practising under license from 3M.
These patents collectively cover South Korea, China, Japan, Europe and the United States and have a validity of between 2021 and 2024. Umicore takes over all rights and responsibilities with the existing licensees of 3M.
The NMC cathode materials covered by the different patent families offer an outstanding balance of power, energy, safety features and low cost. As a result, these materials have become the reference for large-format lithium ion batteries which are typically used in automotive and energy storage applications. This is furthermore evidenced by the significant number of existing licensees among leading battery and battery material producers.
“We are delighted to be acquiring the full ownership of these patents. The NMC battery materials technology covered by these patents is a clear reference in the industry and is being incorporated in the majority of batteries for electrified vehicle platforms being launched today and in the near future. As an established market participant Umicore is well positioned to continue enforcing these patents around the globe. We will also continue our successful technology cooperation with 3M to further improve the overall performance of the lithium-ion battery system” said Kurt Vandeputte, Vice President Business Team for Umicore’s Rechargeable Battery Materials activity.