On November 17th, 2017, Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal ruled in favor of SNF, Inc. and confirmed the conclusion of the trial judge that Ciba’s Canadian Patent No. 2,515,581, with claims to a process of “rigidifying” tailings using polymers, is invalid and should not have been granted on the basis that all the claims of the patent covered subject matter that was obvious and not inventive.

The patent was owned by Ciba Specialty Chemicals, a subsidiary of BASF. The ‘581 Patent generally claimed a method of using water-soluble polymers to treat, among other things, mineral tailings, through a process called “rigidification.”

SNF is pleased with the outcome of the litigation, which should help ensure that the Canadian marketplace can operate freely, without the barrier of the improper monopoly previously claimed by Ciba/BASF.  SNF continues to be committed to the development of the best products and equipment to suit the needs of its customers.

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