COLOGNE, Germany (March 16) — Germany´s Degussa A.G. and France´s Rhodia S.A. have signed a cross-licensing agreement that will allow Degussa to make highly dispersible precipitated silica using Rhodia technology.
Peter Browning, global business director of Rhodia Silcea, said Rhodia has believed for some years that Degussa´s silica materials infringed some of Rhodia´s patents. In order to ensure continued availability of these important materials, he said, Rhodia has agreed to license certain technologies to Degussa. He said Rhodia is willing to discuss similar deals with other suppliers.
The agreement responds to a request from a number of major customers, Eric Noyrez, president of Rhodia Silcea, said. He said that after several years of legal discussions, the company is satisfied with this solution to ensure Rhodia´s patent position is not a blocking factor for customers in the development of applications that use highly dispersible silica.
The agreement was signed in late December. Precipitate silica is used primarily in low rolling resistance tire tread compounds.
Rhodia Silcea is a new business unit combining the former silica and rare earths businesses.