Hannover - October 21, 2016 --- On October 11th, 2016, the German Federal Patent Court in Munich has confirmed the validity of an amended version of an expired Solvay patent in rare earth mixed oxides, against Neo Chemicals and Oxides.

Solvay concludes that the Federal Court’s decision substantially validates the basis of a patent infringement verdict against Neo Chemicals and Oxides, issued by the Düsseldorf Regional Court on March 3rd, 2016 (judgment appealed by Neo).

Solvay considers that the fact that its patent has been amended has no practical effect. The cerium/zirconium mixed oxide products that Neo imported and which fell under the scope of the Düsseldorf judgment remain covered, except one grade, by the patent version that Solvay has successfully defended.

On this basis, Solvay expects that its claim against Neo following the infringement judgment of the Düsseldorf Regional Court last March will remain essentially intact and will result in the payment of substantial damages by Neo to Solvay.

Both parties can appeal the Federal Patent Court’s judgment to the German Federal Supreme Court.

Rare earth oxides are used in automotive catalysts to abate noxious gases from engine exhaust. Ever stricter air quality standards require increasingly complex formulated rare earth oxides. Solvay’s OPtalys® and Actalys® product range offers tailored solutions for all types of automotive catalysts and contributes significantly to cleaner mobility.

Solvay enforces its intellectual property rights against suspected unauthorized use. It has also sued Neo in the Patents Court of England and Wales, claiming infringement of Solvay’s affiliate Anan Kasei patent by certain Neo high surface area ceric oxide products.

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.

An international chemical and advanced materials company, Solvay assists its customers in innovating, developing and delivering high-value, sustainable products and solutions which consume less energy and reduce CO2 emissions, optimize the use of resources and improve the quality of life. Solvay serves diversified global end markets, including automotive and aerospace, consumer goods and healthcare, energy and environment, electricity and electronics, building and construction as well as industrial applications. Solvay is headquartered in Brussels with about 30,000 employees spread across 53 countries. It generated pro forma net sales of € 12.4 bn in 2015, with 90% made from activities where it ranks among the world’s top 3 players. Solvay SA (SOLB.BE) is listed on Euronext in Brussels and Paris (Bloomberg: SOLB:BB - Reuters: SOLB.BR).