CDW and Hitachi settle 3M battery suits

CDW and Hitachi settle 3M battery suits

Lithium-ion patent lawsuits finally complete

3M has reached aggreements with CDW Corp and Hitachi Koki in its lithium-ion battery cathode patent suits.

The resolution came after CDW Corp and Hitachi Koki certified that they will import and sell batteries containing 3M's patented cathode materials only from manufacturers licensed by 3M.

3M has now requested dismissal of the two companies from the US International Trade Commission investigation over lithium-ion battery technology and a parallel patent suit in the District of Minnesota.

3M also reached settlements with and Lenovo following certifications that their batteries containing 3M's patented cathode materials come only from 3M licensed sources.

Major battery manufacturers Panasonic, Matsushita Electric Industrial, Sony and Sanyo all reached earlier settlements in which they became licensed sources of batteries containing 3M's patented materials.

"We are pleased that all the suits related to our battery cathode patents are now settled and that the industry has recognised 3M's patent rights and the value of 3M's advanced cathode materials," said Nagraj Koneripalli, business manager at 3M Electronics.

3M's cathode materials containing nickel, manganese and cobalt are used in current and next-generation lithium-ion batteries, the most common source of power for laptop computers, mobile phones and portable electronic devices.

Lithium-ion batteries are also increasingly used in battery-powered hand tools and hybrid electric vehicles.

3M has defended its actions, maintaining that they are consistent with its policy to protect substantial investments in new technology and in R&D by obtaining, maintaining and enforcing intellectual property rights in inventions.