Schedule of Patent Applications to Protect HPA Process
- Total of seven (7) Patent Applications lodged for Altech HPA Process
- Five (5) Patent Applications lodged in Australia
- Two (2) Patent Applications lodged in Malaysia
- One (1) Innovation Patent granted in Australia - currently in examination
The Company is committed to placing itself in a strong position to protect its intellectual property rights. Accordingly, Altech has so far lodged seven (7) Patent Applications for the Altech HPA Process. Five (5) Patent Applications have been lodged in Australia, with one (1) application granted - Innovation Patent 2018101228. Two (2) Patent Applications have been lodged in Malaysia. The Patent Applications have been lodged in the name of Altech's wholly owned subsidiary, Altech Chemicals Australia Pty Ltd. Details of each Patent Application are summarised in Table 1, (see link below).
Granted Innovation Patent 2018101228
On 16 October 2018 the Company announced that it had received the Certificate of Grant for its Innovation Patent 2018101228 from the Australian Patent Office (IP Australia), for the Company's method of producing high purity alumina (HPA) from kaolin (aluminous clay). The prescribed process for an Innovation Patent following grant, is that the patent is examined by IP Australia and once the examination is passed, the Innovation Patent is certified then published. IP Australia recently issued its initial examination report for the Company's Innovation Patent 2018101228 (Examination report No. 1). In the section of the examination report titled "Novelty and Innovative steps", the innovation and novelty of the Altech HPA Process were queried; the Company now has a 6-month period to respond to IP Australia and remove grounds for revocation of the patent, else the Innovation Patent will cease. Interestingly, one of the queries raised in the Examination report was in relation to an innovation step previously filed by the Company, under the former name of its wholly owned subsidiary, Kaolin2alumina Pty Ltd.
The initial examination determination by IP Australia of the Company's Innovation Patent is not final nor binding, and the Company via its Patent Attorney WRAYS will now respond to IP Australia with further clarification and justification as to the innovation and novelty of the Altech HPA Process. It is the view of the Company and WRAYS that a significant and innovative step of the Altech HPA Process described in the Innovation Patent is the recycling and re-use of HCl gas, which previous patents did not deploy. WRAYS has advised Altech that a response to clarify patent innovation and novelty following an initial Innovation Patent examination is not unusual. The Company will keep shareholders updated as to the status of the various Patent Applications and the examination process.
The award of a patent to Altech (and its wholly owned subsidiary) for the Altech HPA process is not a condition precedent to draw-down of the KfW IPEX-Bank senior debt (US$190m).
To view tables, please visit:
About Altech Chemicals Ltd
HPA is a high-value, high margin and highly demanded product as it is the critical ingredient required for the production of synthetic sapphire. Synthetic sapphire is used in the manufacture of substrates for LED lights, semiconductor wafers used in the electronics industry, and scratch-resistant sapphire glass used for wristwatch faces, optical windows and smartphone components. There is no substitute for HPA in the manufacture of synthetic sapphire.
Global HPA demand is approximately 25,315tpa (2016) and demand is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.7% (2016-2024), primarily driven by the growth in worldwide adoption of LEDs. As an energy efficient, longer lasting and lower operating cost form of lighting, LED lighting is replacing the traditional incandescent bulbs.
Altech Chemicals Ltd