A three-year-old boil-off gas reliquefaction technology patent dispute between the three South Korean shipbuilders has been settled by the country’s Supreme Court.
Local media report the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), following DSME’s appeal, claiming it had patented the technology used to reliquefy evaporated LNG.
DSME filed the appeal in January following the Patent Court’s ruling to invalidate the shipbuilder’s patent over the boil-off liquefaction technology.
The Patent Court decided DSME’s technology was not different to the one developed by its compatriots.
DSME initially registered the technology as a patent in January 2014 which subsequently allowed the company to secure the most orders for LNG carriers in the following years.
According to reports, foreign shipowners chose to have their vessels built by DSME due to the technology advantage over the two other South Korean shipyards, which were understood to infringe DSME’s patent.
However, the media reported that the latest Supreme Court decision will even the playing feel for all three shipbuilders, although DSME, burdened with significant debt will be put further under pressure.
LNG World News Staff