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Diamonds and Gems  
12 January 2016

De Beers’ company starts patent infringement litigation against IIa Technologies

De Beers Group company Element Six Technologies on Tuesday began legal action in Singapore against IIa Technologies - alleging infringement of its patents concerning synthetic diamond material.

Singapore-based IIa Technologies specialises in grown diamond technology. The company grows colourless Type IIa diamonds "through a commercially viable and sustainable process" according to its website.

Element Six believes that certain of its patents for proprietary synthetic diamond products and their method of manufacture have been infringed. It is therefore taking this action to defend its intellectual property rights and business interests.

Yellow diamond

Element Six is taking legal action against IIa Technologies regarding their synthetic diamond patents

The patents in question relate to production of material which has a combination of high-optical transparency in the visible and infra-red spectral regions and low-crystalline stress, which is desirable in optical applications such as infra-red spectroscopy and high-power laser optics.

Element Six believes that IIa Technologies in Singapore is exploiting Element Six patents for commercial gain, potentially in both the industrial/technology and jewellery sectors.

Element Six has invested hundreds of millions of dollars over more than 50 years to become the world’s leading producer of synthetic diamond material, developing new material to tackle some of science and industry’s most intractable challenges.

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.

“We believe this is a straightforward case of patent infringement, as any company would do, Element Six is taking action to defend its position. To continue to be able to invest in research and development, we depend on our ability to protect the intellectual property resulting from this research, development and innovation,” says Walter Hühn, Chief Executive of Element Six.

Synthetic diamond material has many remarkable properties, from hardness, high melting point and heat conduction, to optical transparency and electrical conduction.

Harnessing these properties and refining the synthesis process has enabled the development of tooling applications in activities such as drilling and mining, as well as emerging applications such as high frequency speakers, radiation sensors, optics, water sanitation and even quantum computing. The vast majority of diamond material used in industry or technology is synthetic in origin.

Due to the legal proceedings, no further comment will be made until the process is concluded.

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