06-Jul-2011 - Süd-Chemie AG

Framework in place for faster market penetration of LFP

Hydro-Québec, Université de Montréal, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and Süd-Chemie agree on the issuing of sublicenses for LMP/LFP battery material

The owners of the rights to key patents on lithium metal phosphate, including lithium iron phosphate (LMP/LFP), and related battery materials, in conjunction with Süd-Chemie AG, Munich, have established a new foundation for broad-based, global marketing of these materials. LMP/LFP is an innovative, powerful, and safe cathode material useful in rechargeable batteries. Rechargeable batteries have literally changed the world. Cell phones, laptop computers, and hybrid and electric vehicles would not exist without this technology. LMP/LFP technology is useful in numerous such applications including electric and hybrid automobile batteries and stationary energy storage in popular "smart grid" applications.

Süd-Chemie, via its subsidiary Phostech Lithium Inc., was previously the exclusive licensed supplier of LMP/LFP. Süd-Chemie has agreed with the three patent owners, Hydro-Québec, Université de Montréal and CNRS, to facilitate the distribution of this technology through the creation of LiFePO4+C Licensing AG, Muttenz/Switzerland which will issue sublicenses to suitable LMP/LFP producers capable to address the market demand with high quality products.

Initial sublicense agreements have been concluded with two Japanese entities, namely Sumitomo Osaka Cement Co. Ltd. and Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., as well as two Taiwanese entities, namely Tatung Fine Chemicals Co. and Advanced Lithium Electrochemistry (Cayman) Co., Ltd (ALEEES). The latter has undertaken to build and operate an industrial size manufacturing plant in the province of Québec, Canada. LiFePO4+C Licensing AG plans to issue additional sublicenses for LMP/LFP technology to a limited number of companies.

The LMP/LFP patents comprise three separate groups of patent rights affording extensive worldwide protection for LMP/LFP technology: the Goodenough patents on LMP/LFP material, the carbon coating patents, usable with LMP/LFP material and other materials, and the carbon coating process patents. The basic LMP/LFP material technology was invented and patented by world-renowned scientist and faculty member of the University of Texas in Austin, Dr. John Goodenough. Its potential was first recognized by Dr. Michel Armand of Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris/France who further worked with Dr. Nathalie Ravet, Dr. Michel Gauthier and other scientists at Université de Montréal, Montréal/Canada and at Hydro-Québec's research facility (IREQ), Montreal/Canada in research efforts financially supported by Hydro-Québec, Université de Montréal and CNRS. Dr. Armand was instrumental in setting up an early collaboration between Hydro-Québec and the University of Texas in Austin to explore and develop this technology.

The decision to sublicense this technology lays the foundation for an appropriate response to the rapidly growing demand from the global battery and automotive industries for reliable sources of LMP/LFP by allowing fast and broad-based market penetration of high quality LMP/LFP materials.

In addition to Süd-Chemie and the new sublicensees, Japan's Sony Corporation has a non-exclusive license to manufacture LMP/LFP for use in Sony's own battery production.

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