NEW YORK Outokumpu Oyj and Outotec Oyj are involved
in a legal dispute over invention rights related to a
ferrochrome production method after Outokumpu filed patent
applications for the technology.
Outotec, an Espoo, Finland-based global mining equipment and
services group, has requested that the district court in
Helsinki, Finland, confirm its rights to the method, claiming
that all rights to the invention belong to Outotec, according
to its application for summons to the court.
Stainless steel producer Outokumpu, also based in Espoo, said
Outotecs claims are completely without merit
and that Outokumpu made the invention.
These claims against Outokumpu are unfounded. If pursued,
Outokumpu will vigorously defend its rights, Kimmo
Karihtala, Outokumpus head of corporate affairs and
compliance, said in a statement.
Outotec noted that the two companies have collaborated on
various technologies since Outotec separated from Outokumpu,
its former parent company, in 2006.
We have operated in a well-established and confidential
business relationship with Outokumpu. The invention in dispute
has been developed by Outotec at our Pori research center in
Finland, and in our opinion the rights to this invention and
the related patents belong to us, Outotec chief
technology officer Kari Knuutila said. Through this
invention, significant savings can be achieved in the
production costs of stainless steel, and therefore the method
is important for Outotec in terms of future sales.
Outotec is also demanding compensation for damages from
Outokumpu in the event that its main claim to the invention is