Joint News Release
BASF and Umicore enter into a patent cross-license agreement
BASF and Umicore have entered into a non-exclusive patent cross-license agreement covering a broad range of cathode active materials (CAM) and their precursors (PCAM), including chemistries such as nickel cobalt manganese (NCM), nickel cobalt aluminum (NCA), nickel cobalt manganese aluminum (NCMA) and lithium rich, high manganese high energy NCM (HE NCM).
CAMs are critical for the performance, safety and cost of lithium-ion batteries used in modern electromobility and other applications. The interplay between PCAM and CAM and the development of these materials are crucial to maximize battery cell performance. For many years, BASF and Umicore have been investing intensively in product innovation for low, medium and high nickel PCAM and CAM resulting in each company owning sizeable and largely complementary patent portfolios.
Building on each other’s strong product technology expertise to support the technological needs of their customers, BASF and Umicore have entered into a landmark patent agreement allowing both partners to combine a wider range of IP-protected technologies related to features such as chemical composition, powder morphology and chemical stability. The agreement increases both parties’ ability to customize their materials to meet the increasingly diversified and complex customer requirements at the battery cell and application level. Furthermore, through this agreement both parties can increase even more their product development speed demonstrating their commitment to addressing the main challenges e-mobility is facing, such as energy density, safety and cost while enhancing transparency and reducing IP-risks for battery cell manufacturers and their customers.
The agreement covers more than 100 patent families filed in Europe, US, China, Korea and Japan. Both parties retain the right to enforce their own IP-rights against third parties in the future.
“This agreement with Umicore enables even faster, more sustainable and innovative battery materials development to serve our customers including battery cell manufacturers and automotive,” said Dr. Peter Schuhmacher, President of BASF Catalysts. “The continuous development of battery materials will accelerate the transformation towards full electrification and thus support the world’s efforts to fight climate change.”
Marc Grynberg, CEO of Umicore, commented: “This agreement with BASF is an important step in promoting cathode material innovation. It strengthens our technology positioning and further increases our ability to develop bespoke solutions which meet the most stringent performance and quality standards of our battery and automotive customers.”
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About BASF’s Catalysts Division
BASF’s Catalysts division is the world’s leading supplier of environmental and process catalysts. The group offers exceptional expertise in the development of technologies that protect the air we breathe, produce the fuels that power our world and ensure efficient production of a wide variety of chemicals, plastics and other products, including advanced battery materials. By leveraging our industry-leading R&D platforms, passion for innovation and deep knowledge of precious and base metals, BASF’s Catalysts division develops unique, proprietary solutions that drive customer success. Further information on BASF’s Catalysts division is available on the Internet at www.catalysts.basf.com.
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. More than 110,000 employees in the BASF Group contribute to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of €59 billion in 2020. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at www.basf.com.
Umicore is a global materials technology and recycling group. It focuses on application areas where its expertise in materials science, chemistry and metallurgy makes a real difference. Its activities are organised in three business groups: Catalysis, Energy & Surface Technologies and Recycling. Each business group is divided into market-focused business units offering materials and solutions that are at the cutting edge of new technological developments and essential to everyday life.
Umicore generates the majority of its revenues and dedicates most of its R&D efforts to clean mobility materials and recycling. Umicore’s overriding goal of sustainable value creation is based on an ambition to develop, produce and recycle materials in a way that fulfils its mission: materials for a better life.
Umicore’s industrial and commercial operations as well as R&D activities are located across the world to best serve its global customer base. The Group generated revenues (excluding metal) of € 3.2 billion (turnover of € 20.7 billion) in 2020 and currently employs 10,800 people.