Patent spat resolved

Matsushita Electric Industrial and 3M have reached a settlement regarding a patent dispute involving lithium ion battery cathode materials. The materials were the subject of a patent infringement suit filed in March 2007 against Matsushita, Panasonic Corporation of North America and other companies.

Matsushita and 3M have executed a Settlement and License Agreement. Under this agreement, Matsushita and Panasonic Corporation of North America are now licensed sources of batteries. The specific terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.

3M said in a statement that it believes its cathode materials containing nickel, manganese and cobalt are an important technology for current and next generation lithium ion batteries.

Lithium ion batteries are a preferred source of power for laptop computers, mobile phones and portable electronic devices, and are an emerging source of power for battery-powered hand tools. 3M predict a promising future for its lithium-ion technology in transport applications, including hybrid electric vehicles.