Hanover, May 2nd, 2018 --- Solvay announces that the UK High Court has judged Solvay Patent EP 1435338 relating to certain ceric oxides used in automotive exhaust catalysts, to be valid and infringed by Neo activities in the UK. No permission to appeal has been granted at this time.

In December 2017, the Mannheim Regional Court in Germany had previously judged that Neo infringed the German part of the same patent and granted an injunction.  An appeal is pending but Neo did not deny infringement of the patent. 

Neo’s claim that it will sell its products into patent-free countries - an attempt to minimize Neo’s direct exposure - and its suggestion that it would work with customers to avoid directly concerned jurisdictions, will put at risk the supply chain of their customers and that of the downstream automotive manufacturers; infringing acts are not limited to importation, sale and use of the ceric oxide materials. Catalysts containing these materials are also covered in the patent claim. Thus, in Germany for example, infringing acts also include their development and use. This applies even if catalyst production has been relocated to a country with no direct patent protection.

Solvay will seek to recover full damages from Neo.


Neo is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Neo Performance Materials Inc., which is headquartered in Toronto, Canada and which has closed its initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange on December 8, 2017.



Solvay is an advanced materials and specialty chemicals company, committed to developing chemistry that addresses key societal challenges. Solvay innovates and partners with customers worldwide in many diverse end markets. Its products are used in planes, cars, batteries, smart and medical devices, as well as in mineral and oil and gas extraction, enhancing efficiency and sustainability. Its lightweighting materials promote cleaner mobility, its formulations optimize the use of resources and its performance chemicals improve air and water quality. Solvay is headquartered in Brussels with around 26,800 employees in 61 countries. Net sales were €10.1 billion in 2017, with 90% from activities where Solvay ranks among the world’s top 3 leaders, resulting in an EBITDA margin of 22%. Solvay SA (SOLB.BE) is listed on Euronext Brussels and Paris (Bloomberg: SOLB.BB - Reuters: SOLB.BR) and in the United States its shares (SOLVY) are traded through a level-1 ADR program. Financial figures take into account the announced divestment of Polyamides.

Solvay Special Chem is world leader in selected specialties based on Fluorine, Rare Earths, Strontium and Barium. The GBU leverages its distinctive knowledge to provide specialized products and solutions to selected industries, such as: rare earth-based formulations for use in automotive catalysts, luminophores and polishing; NOCOLOK® fluxes for automotive heat exchangers; Solkane® 365 as foam blowing agent in thermal insulation foams; fluorinated intermediates for agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals; process chemicals for semiconductors; barium salts for electronic passive components, etc.