Patent dispute: USPTO rules in favor of VARTA AG

In the ongoing patent dispute between a subsidiary of VARTA AG, device manufacturers and a competitor, a key ruling has been reached in the USA in favor of the German technology company. The Patent Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board, a part of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), has rejected all applications for a declaration of invalidity in relation to relevant components of several patents. The six patents under attack held by the company from Ellwangen (Baden-Württemberg) remain valid. The cancellation requests were submitted in response to lawsuits filed by the VARTA subsidiary, which takes the view that its patents have been infringed. One of the defendants is Guangdong Mic-Power New Energy Co. (Mic-Power).

Herbert Schein, CEO of VARTA AG: “This ruling in the USA represents a clear victory for us. The objections were dismissed in the manner we expected. We now feel that we are in a stronger position for the ongoing proceedings, in which we confidently expect victory. VARTA is a global market leader in many areas of lithium-ion technology. Innovation is our strength. Therefore, we protect our products by securing rigorous patents in order to maintain and further expand our competitive edge. We do not tolerate any infringement of our intellectual property.”

The legal proceedings for which a ruling has now been made relate to patents designed to protect the German technology company’s small, rechargeable lithium-ion cells that are sold under the brand name CoinPower®. These cells are primarily used in premium True Wireless Stereo Headsets (TWS). The patents relate to pioneering battery enclosure, contacting and manufacturing technologies, which, in VARTA’s view, are infringed. The legal validity of these patents has now been confirmed in full or as revised by the ruling.

VARTA AG expects this ruling to have a positive effect on other pending and planned patent infringement lawsuits against its competitor EVE Energy Co. (Guangdong) as well as other device manufacturers.

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VARTA AG produces and markets a comprehensive battery portfolio ranging from micro batteries, household batteries, energy storage systems to customised battery solutions for a variety of applications and sets the industry standards as a technology leader in key areas. As the parent company of the Group, it is divided into the segments "Micro Batteries", "Lithium-Ion CoinPower", "Consumer Batteries", "Energy Storage Systems" and "Other".
The "Micro Batteries" segment includes micro and hearing aid batteries, "Lithium-Ion CoinPower" small-format lithium-ion round cells for OEM applications. "Consumer Batteries" represents the business with household batteries, rechargeable batteries, chargers, portable power (power banks) and lights. “Energy Storage Systems" includes energy storage solutions for primarily private, but also for commercial applications. The "Other" segment includes the "Lithium-Ion Battery Packs" and "Lithium-Ion Large Cells" business units (high-performance lithium-ion round cells for industrial applications in the automotive and non-automotive sectors).
Through intensive research and development, VARTA sets global standards in many areas of lithium-ion technology and in micro batteries, making it a recognised innovation leader in the important growth markets of lithium-ion technology and in primary hearing aid batteries. The VARTA AG Group currently employs around 4,200 people. With five production and manufacturing facilities in Europe and Asia as well as distribution centres in Asia, Europe and the USA, VARTA AG's operating subsidiaries are currently active in over 100 countries worldwide.