In New Suit with A123 Hydro-Quebec Drills Black & Decker and Leans on Segway


In a previous post, I wrote about patent litigation between Canadian utility Hydro-Quebec (H-Q) and Massachusetts based lithium ion battery maker A123 Systems (A123), in which A123 lost its bid to have its declaratory judgment action litigated in its desired forum of Boston.

Last month, H-Q opened a new front against A123 and also targeted Valence Technology (Valence) and Segway. 

Filed in federal court in Dallas, Texas, the complaint (HQ-A123-2d-Amended-Complaint) sticks with the same previously disputed family of patents, alleging infringement of three newly-issued patents in that family – U.S. Patents Nos. 7,955,733, 7,960,058 and 7,964,308, entitled “Cathode materials for secondary (rechargeable) lithium batteries” (Cathode Materials Patents).

H-Q asserts that A123 is infringing the Cathode Materials Patents by selling rechargeable lithium metal phosphate batteries for use in Black & Decker’s DeWalt cordless power tools, and Valence and Segway are infringing by selling Segway Personal Transporters that contain lithium metal phosphate batteries and cathode powder made by Valence.

The Cathode Materials Patents relate to host materials for use as electrodes in lithium ion batteries.  In particular, the patents are directed to a synthesized cathode material containing a compound with an olivine structure comprising the general formula LiMPO4 where M is iron, manganese, nickel or titanium.

According to the Cathode Materials Patents, these cathode materials provide a larger free volume for lithium ion motion that allows higher conductivity and therefore greater power densities.

H-Q is asking the court for a preliminary and permanent injunction and monetary damages.

Eric Lane Avatar

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.