De Beers' Element Six Technologies Ltd subsidiary has today (Tuesday) begun legal action in Singapore against IIa Technologies Pte. Ltd alleging infringement of its patents concerning synthetic diamond material. Element Six believes that certain of its patents for proprietary synthetic diamond products and their method of manufacture have been infringed and the legal action aims to defend its intellectual property rights and business interests, the miner said in a statement. IIa Technologies claims to run the world's largest diamond-growing facility.
"Element Six believes that IIa Technologies in Singapore is exploiting Element Six patents for commercial gain, potentially in both the industrial/technology and jewellery sectors. Element Six has invested hundreds of millions of dollars over more than 50 years to become the world’s leading producer of synthetic diamond material, developing new material to tackle some of science and industry’s most intractable challenges. Any use of Element Six patents, without its consent, negatively impacts its ability to get a full return from its investment and undermines its ability to carry out further important research and development.
Walter Hühn, Chief Executive of Element Six, said: “Synthetic diamond material can be – and is – produced without infringing our patents. We believe this is a straightforward case of patent infringement and, as any company would do, Element Six is taking action to defend its position. To continue to be able to invest in research and development, we depend on our ability to protect the intellectual property resulting from this research, development and innovation.”
Due to the legal proceedings, no further comment will be made until the process is concluded, De Beers concluded.