Sintered NdFeB patents - tackling risks in the patent soup
It’s been close to fifty years since the announcement of the new, revolutionary Nd-Fe-B magnet material in 1983. With an estimated global market capitalization of around 20 bn$/year, these magnets present a niche market. Especially sintered NdFeB magnets are gaining attention though, due to their growing importance in green transition.
The E-mobility market in particular drives the need for stronger magnets, while the scarcity of Heavy Rare Earth’s (HRE) pushes the TIER I&II’s and OEM’s into lower HRE-contents to secure long-term demand and reduce the price
Efforts made in the past twenty years have driven sintered NdFeB magnets close to their theoretical magnet properties, while also enhancing functional properties, such as improved corrosion behavior, toughness, electrical resistivity, etc…
Yet due to historical patent/economic limitations, most of the technical progress has been made in a limited circle of original-patent-owning companies, mostly in Japan. With the worldwide “original” patent expiration in 2012, all stakeholders hoped that the patent limitations have fallen. Not even close! Old patents, covering old technologies are gone, yet thousands of new(er) patents in force round the world, seem to fill every pore of the whole manufacturing process. From composition, to stripcasting, all the way to surface protection, even packaging.
To address the risks properly, we offer to present our deep understanding of the patent landscape, market needs and even politics. We offer an insight into a proven solution, which we have already delivered to both magnet makers and magnet users (TIER I, II).