Hannover - November 2, 2016 --- Solvay has won two patent cases against affiliates of Neo Performance Materials in Germany and China. Courts in both countries confirmed the validity of a key Solvay patent, which covers a wide range of its OPtalys® cerium/zirconium mixed oxides products.

On October 25, the German Federal Patent Court accepted a version of the patent (which expired in June 2016), from which only economically irrelevant binary products were excluded. Solvay will now pursue the corresponding infringement procedure in the District Court of Düsseldorf, which would entitle Solvay to further damages. These damages are in addition to those Solvay is claiming in respect to another key patent which had been confirmed by the German Federal Patent Court earlier this month in a separate case.

On October 20, the Chinese Patent Reexamination Board had fully rejected the attempt by Zibo Jiahua New Materials Resources Co., Ltd, a Neo Chemicals and Oxides affiliate, to invalidate Solvay’s Chinese patent related to the same cerium/zirconium mixed oxides invention.

Both decisions, which are subject to appeal, confirm that Neo’s objections against the validity of Solvay’s patents were groundless.

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 United Kingdom Patent Court, claiming infringement of Solvay’s affiliate Anan Kasei patent by certain Neo high surface area ceric oxide products. This patent is in force.

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).