LG Chem said that it plans to enforce patent rights on high-nickel cathodes as competition rises so it can dominate the market for electric vehicles.
Amid growing demand for electric vehicles, battery makers are primed to benefit the most due to EV manufacturers’ need for cells. CATL, LG Chem, and Panasonic are just some of the companies that have been met with massive demand for their products, hoping to fill out packs that will give electric vehicles competitive range and power.
Despite the need for a wide range of cell companies to produce EV batteries, LG Chem made it clear in a recent statement that it would enforce the patent rights it owns on high-nickel cathodes. It instead proposed to license out its material patents on this technology to Chiina-based cathode material suppliers.
“Licensing refers to a contract in which the patent holder agrees to provide the right to use the patent to a third party and receive royalties in return,” LG Chem said. “This makes it clear that LG Chem will not exclude the possibility of legal actions against any third-party infringers.”
The licensing offers were made available to companies that operate in the production of high-nickel cathode materials.
High-nickel cells contain a low amount of cobalt, which is a controversial material that has long been used in lithium-ion batteries because of the stability that it offers. However, companies are moving away from cobalt in their cells for several reasons. LG Chem has supplied high-nickel cells to Tesla, among other companies. Vehicles built at Gigafactory Shanghai have used the battery type since 2021.
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LG Chem is protecting a product it developed in March 2022, as it became the world’s first producer of nickel-cobalt-manganese cathode materials and purchased more than 40 patents related to high-nickel cathode materials from Hanyang University in Korea.
One of the most crucial of the 40 patents was one that showed high-nickel chemistries could increase EV driving range by 20 to 30 percent. This was dependent on the structural characteristics of the cathode materials and are registered in the U.S., China, Korea, and Europe.
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The licensing is a strategy LG Chem will use “to promote the development of battery material industry with other global cathode materials suppliers.” In turn, it will also help LG Chem create new sources of profits.
“LG Chem’s high-nickel cathode materials patent plays a determinant role in the performance of lithium-ion batteries and is undoubtedly necessary for the advancement of the high-performance EV industry,” an official for the company said. “We are willing to offer our patent portfolio to battery materials providers worldwide through various types of intellectual property business models.”
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