IIA Technologies has won the final round of its patent dispute with De Beers-owned Element Six following a ruling in Singapore’s Court of Appeal, bringing an end to a seven-year process.
Element Six is a De Beers subsidiary that produces lab-created diamonds and in 2018 launched the Lightbox Jewelry brand. IIA Technologies meanwhile was established in 2005.
The dispute began in 2016 when Element Six sued IIA Technologies over claims it had infringed on two lab-created diamond patents relating to the production process and post-creation treatment.
In 2020 the court ruled that IIA Technologies did infringe on the production patent, however; this verdict was appealed and successfully reversed in this recent ruling.
“IIA Technologies has consistently and vigorously defended its rights to commercialise its proprietary, trade secret process for manufacturing lab grown diamonds using CVD technology. The research and development that led to that trade secret process began many years ago, involving a significant investment of time and resources, as well as millions of dollars,” the company said in a statement.
CEO Vishal Mehta added that IIA Technologies take pride in the processes it has refined over the past 15 years and will continue to take steps to protect its interests.
A spokesperson for Element Six said the court’s ruling came as a surprise.
“Element Six has invested hundreds of millions of dollars over more than 70 years to become a leading producer of synthetic diamonds, developing new material to tackle some of science and industry’s most intractable challenges,” the statement reads.
“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. Element Six will therefore continue to be vigilant for potential cases of IP infringement and will defend its rights vigorously.”
The statement from Element Six also noted that the decision is specific to Singapore and does not apply in other jurisdictions in which it holds similar patents.
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