NTT Settles Lawsuit over Li-ion Battery Patents

Oct 7, 2008
Yukiko Kanoh, Nikkei Electronics

NTT Corp announced Oct 6, 2008, that it settled a lawsuit filed by the University of Texas and Hydro-Quebec of Canada.

The University of Texas and Hydro-Quebec filed the lawsuit with the Texas state court in June 2001, claiming that "NTT misused trade secrets for a Li-ion rechargeable secondary battery technology." The plaintiffs were seeking compensation from NTT for the damage it caused.

The technology in question concerns Li-ion secondary batteries that use such materials as lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) in the positive electrode. It is different from the technologies used for mobile phones and notebook PCs, NTT said.

NTT will pay a settlement of US$30 million to the plaintiffs. However, NTT denies any wrongdoing and retains ownership of the patents that were the subject of this lawsuit. Also, NTT will grant the plaintiffs an exclusive license to the patents.

NTT had been fighting the suit, denying any wrongdoing. The company agreed to settle the suit, however, after giving consideration to such factors as the cost of continuing the court proceedings and the uncertainty of the outcome of a jury trial, it said.