Hanover, Germany November 29, 2019 --- It has been confirmed by UK appeal court that Solvay has won a patent dispute against Neo Chemicals & Oxides (Neo) infringement of a Solvay patent relating to high surface area ceric oxides used in automotive exhaust catalysts.

In a judgment handed down on October 9, 2019, the three judges of the UK Appeal Court rejected Neo’s appeal in a unanimous decision. Neo had appealed a High Court Judgment holding that Solvay Patent EP 1435338 was valid and infringed by certain Neo high surface area (HSA) ceric oxide products. 

The Court of Appeal also ruled that Solvay is entitled to pursue Neo Performance Materials Inc., Neo’s ultimate parent company, for its alleged involvement in Neo’s infringement after August 31st 2016. 

The infringement case is now definitively concluded in Solvay’s favour. By consequence the court order forbidding Neo to provide infringing products into the UK has now become final. Solvay will pursue the payment of damages, including Neo’s worldwide dealings based on unlawful acts in the UK. 

Solvay will help its customers cope with the difficult situation created, as they have been exposed to compliance risks among other matters by Neo. 

Respect of Intellectual Property Rights is essential for free and healthy competition. Solvay will continue to take vigorous action to enforce its rights against infringers. 

Rare earth oxides are key ingredients (or ‘raw materials’) in automotive catalysts that abate noxious gases from engine exhaust. Ever stricter air quality standards require increasingly complex formulations of rare earth oxides that are the result of extensive research and innovation programs. Solvay’s OPtalys® and Actalys® product ranges offer tailored solutions for all types of automotive catalysts and contribute significantly to cleaner mobility. 

Neo is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Neo Performance Materials Inc., which is headquartered in Toronto, Canada, traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange.



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 24,500 employees in 61 countries. Net sales were €10.3 billion in 2018, 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. (Figures take into account the planned 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.