Magnequench patent protection effectively extended to July, 2014
TORONTO, Aug. 10 /CNW/ - Neo Material Technologies Inc. (TSX: NEM) (the
"Company") announced today that agreement has been reached with Hitachi
Metals, Ltd.("Hitachi") on an exclusive field of use license, covering
isotropic Rare Earth/Neodymium-Iron-Boron powders ("Nd-Fe-B" or "Neo Powders")
by Hitachi to NEM of Hitachi's US Patent 5,645,651 ("651"). With the merger of
Hitachi with NEOMAX Co., Ltd as of April 1, 2007, Hitachi became the successor
to the NEOMAX patent portfolio covering Nd-Fe-B magnets.
The "651" patent is a basic patent covering the composition and key
properties of matter for Nd-Fe-B which extends to July 2014. The validity and
enforceability of this patent were upheld in a US International Trade
Commission proceeding, in which Sumitomo Special Metals (predecessor of
NEOMAX) and Magnequench (a division of NEM) jointly obtained a general
exclusion order prohibiting the importation into the United States of products
covered by six of their respective patents, including "651".
Magnequench and Hitachi have been cross-licensed under their respective
patents since 1988 with Hitachi having domain in the sintered Nd-Fe-B magnet
market and Magnequench in Neo Powders for bonded Nd-Fe-B magnets. The
exclusive license announced today provides Magnequench with the ability to
continue its current successful patent infringement and testing programs
through to the expiration of the "651" patent in July 2014.
"This agreement with Hitachi further enhances our intellectual property
and technological lead in the Neo powders market and allows us to continue to
aggressively pursue growth through our longer term new applications strategy."
noted Constantine Karayannopoulos, President & CEO. "I am very pleased to
welcome Hitachi as an important shareholder. Hitachi is one of the foremost
producers and innovators in the magnet industry, with a leading position in
magnets for hybrid car motors. We look forward to a continued collaboration
with Hitachi, from the supply of rare earths to the development of new
applications, for the benefit of both companies."
Magnequench will pay Hitachi a total of US$16,120,000 as follows:
US$12,620,000 in cash, of which US$1,120,000 is payable on closing with the
balance payable through to July 2014. In addition, the Company will issue to
Hitachi 798,837 common shares, issued at a price of Cdn$4.60 per common share,
equivalent to US$3.5 million in the aggregate, subject to the approval of the
Toronto Stock Exchange. Hitachi has retained the right to manufacture and sell
certain lower rare earth content magnetic powders, subject to specific volume
and other application restrictions.
Hitachi is one of the largest and most advanced Japanese producers of
sintered Nd-Fe-B and ferrite magnets. Hitachi also produces bonded magnets
using Magnequench Neo Powders and is a large consumer of rare earths.
About Neo Material Technologies
Neo Material Technologies is a producer, processor and developer of
neodymium-iron-boron magnetic powders, rare earths and zirconium based
engineered materials and applications through its Magnequench and AMR
Performance Materials business divisions. These innovative products are
essential in many of today's high technology products. Magnequench's Neo
Powders are used to produce bonded magnets, generally used in micro motors,
precision motors, sensors and other applications requiring high levels of
magnetic strength, flexibility, small size and reduced weight. Rare earth and
zirconium applications include catalytic converters, computers, television
display panels, optical lenses, mobile phones and electronic chips. The
Company is headquartered in Toronto, Canada and has approximately 1,300
employees in 15 locations, across 10 countries.
Forward Looking Statements
From time to time, the Company may publish forward-looking statements
relating to such matters as expected financial performance, business
prospects, technological developments, and development activities and like
matters. These statements involve risk and uncertainties, including but not
limited to the risk factors previously described. Actual results could differ
materially from those projected as a result of these risks and should not be
relied upon as a prediction of future events. Neo Material Technologies Inc.
undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect
events or circumstances after the date on which such statement is made, or to
reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
Management will host a teleconference call on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at
4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) to discuss the 2Q07 results. Interested parties may
access the teleconference by calling (416) 915-5649 (local) or (800) 796-7558
(toll free long distance) or by visiting http://www.newswire.ca/webcast. A
recording of the teleconference may be accessed by calling (416) 640-1917
(local) or (877) 289-8525 (toll free long distance), and entering pass code
21242766 followed by the number sign until September 14, 2007 or by visiting
For further information:
For further information: Michael Doolan, Chief Financial Officer, (416)
367-8588, ext. 335, Website: www.neomaterials.com, e-mail:
email@example.com; Ali Mahdavi, Genoa Management, (416) 962-3300, ext.
225, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org