SNF Australia

SNF vs BASF, Australian Court Order clarifying Rheomax® ETD Tailings patent

May 3, 2013SNFAUS-AdminNews

Last month BASF issued a widely circulated news release concerning the result of a long running dispute between SNF and BASF concluded in the Australian High Court in March 2013.

SNF was very concerned that this news release was misleading and deceptive and in breach of the Australian Consumer Law as it falsely represented that BASF had valid, current and enforceable patents in Australia for BASF’s Rheomax® ETD products and processes and that if third parties used SNF’s products for such processes they would infringe those patents.

SNF issued urgent Federal Court proceedings against BASF seeking

  • declarations that the news release was misleading and deceptive and in breach of the Australian Consumer Law
  • injunctions restraining BASF’s conduct
  • orders requiring BASF to publish corrective advertising; and
  • damages

A temporary injunction was consented to by BASF on 23 April 2013 and the matter was fixed for an urgent trial.

The trial commenced on 1 May 2013 but was settled with BASF giving undertakings to the Court which are recorded in the attached Court Orders. The effect of the undertakings recorded in the Orders is that it has been acknowledged by BASF and made absolutely clear that:

1. The innovation patents which were the subject of the proceedings which were concluded in the High Court proceeding expired on 7January 2012, and are only enforceable for conduct up to 7 January 2012 and not conduct after that date;

2. BASF has no other current registered patent for its Rheomax ® ETD (Enhanced Tailings Disposal) method in Australia;

3. BASF does have pending, but unregistered, patent applications for Rheomax ® ETD (Enhanced Tailings Disposal) method which are opposed by SNF.


Download attached copy of the Australian Federal Court Order