Valence Victorious in Canadian Advanced Battery Patent Suit

Valence Technology (Valence) is an Austin, Texas, energy storage technology developer that makes lithium iron magnesium phosphate battery modules.

According to this piece in the Austin Business Journal, Valence recently won a four-year patent infringement suit against Montreal-based Phostech Lithium (Phostech).  See also the Valence press release (Valence_press_release).

The patent-in-suit was Canadian Patent No. 2,395,115 (‘115 Patent), entitled “Preparation of lithium-containing materials. 

The ‘115 Patent relates to lithium mixed metal phosphates for advanced batteries.  The materials described in the patent include LiFe0.9Mg0.1PO4 and are used as the active material in a battery cathode.

According to the ‘115 Patent, this material has a better charge capacity than existing lithium cathode materials.  This is demonstrated in the different specific capacity between the LiFePO4, plotted in FIG. 2 of the patent, and the new material, LiFe0.9Mg0.1PO4, shown in FIG. 5.

The ‘115 Patent explains that FIG. 5 (LiFe0.9Mg0.1PO4) shows a well defined and sharp peak at about 150 mAh/g (milliamp hours per gram), while FIG. 2 (LiFePO4) shows a shallow slope leading to a peak at about 123 mAh/g.

This means that the Fe-phosphate plotted in FIG. 2 provides 123 mAh/g compared to its theoretical capacity of 170 mAh/g, for only 72% specific capacity.  The improved Fe/Mg-phosphate material provides 150 mAh/g compared to a theoretical capacity of 160 mAh/g, which is 94% specific capacity.

According to Phostech’s press release (Phostech_press_release), the Federal Court of Canada ordered Phostech to cease its current production and sale of lithium iron phosphate.

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Eric Lane

Eric Lane, the founder and principal of Green Patent Law, is an intellectual property lawyer and registered U.S. patent attorney in New York and is a member of the bar in New York and California. Eric has more than two decades of experience working with wind, solar PV, CSP, biofuels, and geothermal, energy storage technologies, carbon capture and sequestration, medical devices, data communications, mechanical, chemical, internet and software.