EQS-News: EcoGraf Limited: Australian Patent Application
14. August 2023
EcoGraf Australian Patent Application
EcoGraf Ltd. (EcoGraf or the Company) (ASX: EGR; FSE: FMK; OTCQX: ECGFF) has been made aware of an ASX announcement by Renascor Resources Ltd. (ASX: RNU) (Renascor) dated 10 August 2023 in which Renascor states "As reported in April 2022, Renascor lodged an opposition to a pending patent application relating to the purification of graphite. Renascor considers the pending patent application to be overly broad and relating to processing procedures that are not sufficiently novel or inventive to merit patent protection."
EcoGraf understands that the patent application referred to by Renascor in that announcement is the same patent application made by EcoGraf and referred to in its ASX announcement dated 8 November 2021.
As reported by EcoGraf in the announcement to ASX on 8 November 2021:
- The International Preliminary Examining Authority of the Patent Co-operation Treaty has deemed the EcoGraf™ purification process as novel and inventive.
- After an extensive examination, the written opinion of the Examiner at the International Preliminary Examining Authority is that all 25 of the patent claims are novel and inventive.
- This significant outcome paves the way for the grant of the patent.
- The patent submission covers the use of the Company's EcoGraf™ purification technology across a range of applications relating to the manufacture of battery anode material and high purity graphite products, together with the recycling of lithium-ion battery anodes.
Accordingly, the Company strongly disagrees with the statement by Renascor and notes that EcoGraf has also received notice from the US Patent and Trademark Office that its patent application "Method of Producing Purified Graphite" has been granted on 18 July 2023 as United States Patent 11,702342.
This is a key milestone in the commercialisation of EcoGraf HFfree™ technology, providing protection in the US for the patented methodology until around May 2041. In particular this also includes protection for any products imported into the US which are manufactured using a US patented process.
EcoGraf's HFfree™ purification technology was developed by the Company in Australia in 2017 and has since been refined through extensive testing and analysis conducted in Australia, Europe and Asia. Patents and trademarks have been lodged by EcoGraf in all key battery markets to protect the Intellectual Property associated with the process.
As noted in the Company's December 2022 Quarterly Report released to ASX on 31 January 2023, based on the positive examination and finding by the International Preliminary Examining Authority of the Patent Co-operation Treaty that the EcoGraf™ purification process is novel and inventive, in December 2021 the Australian Government, through IP Australia, confirmed acceptance of the Company's patent application 2021261902 "Method of producing purified graphite" and published it in the Australian Journal of Patents as part of a 3-month exposure period during which oppositions can be raised to the proposed grant of a patent. Oppositions were lodged with IP Australia by two parties, who then provided their Statement of Grounds and Particulars in June 2022 and Evidence in Support in September 2022.
After reviewing the Evidence in Support, EcoGraf filed its Evidence in Answer and the Opponents have filed their Evidence in Reply. A delegate of the Commissioner of Patents has been appointed to consider the matter and IP Australia is expected to hold a hearing on the matter later this year.
The Company does not consider that this announcement is price sensitive or contains any new information regarding the patent process with IP Australia.
This announcement is authorised for release by Andrew Spinks, Managing Director.
For further information, please contact:
T: +61 8 6424 9002
EcoGraf is building a vertically integrated battery anode materials business to produce high purity graphite products for the lithium-ion battery and advanced manufacturing markets. Over US$30 million has been invested to date to create a highly attractive graphite mining and mineral processing business.
In Tanzania, the Company is developing the Duma TanzGraphite natural flake graphite business, commencing with the Epanko Graphite Project, to provide a long-term, scalable supply of feedstock for EcoGraf™ battery anode material processing facilities, together with high quality large flake graphite products for specialised industrial applications.
Using its environmentally superior EcoGraf HFfree™ purification technology, the Company will upgrade the flake graphite to produce 99.95%C high performance battery anode material to supply electric vehicle, battery and anode manufacturers in Asia, Europe and North America as the world transitions to clean, renewable energy.
Battery recycling is critical to improving supply chain sustainability and the Company's successful application of the EcoGraf™ purification process to recycle battery anode material provides it with a unique ability to support customers to reduce CO2 emissions and lower battery costs.
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