The legal ruling may reignite the debate over the significance of VLSFO technology patents. File Image / Pixabay
US-based Magēmā Technology has won a key stage of a legal battle over the validity of patents for VLSFO production.
A US Patent Office ruling has upheld the validity of Magēmā's patents on bunker desulfurisation techniques used for making VLSFO.
Magēmā, a firm launched by Rigby Refining CEO Michael Moore and Chief Technologist Bertrand Klussmann, had filed a complaint against Phillips 66 and WRB Refining in 2020 over its patents. Magēmā had alleged Phillips 66 took technical information from a presentation in February 2018 to use the technology in two of its refineries.
In response, Phillips 66 had filed petitions challenging the patents.
Law firm Porter Hedges, representing Magēmā, has now secured four denials on these petitions, upholding the validity of the original patents.
The development means Magēmā's lawsuit against the other firms may now resume.
There was much debate over the significance of VLSFO technology patents in the run-up to IMO 2020, with one firm describing them as a marketing ploy. Further lawsuits on the topic later this year may see that debate reignited.