Hyundai Heavy Industries and Samsung Heavy Industries have won the lawsuits they filed against Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) to nullify DSME’s patent on partial re-liquefaction technology.
The Patent Court of Korea ruled in favor of the plaintiff in the two suits, saying that DSME’s patent is invalid, as there is no substantial difference between DSME’s technology and that of others.
The technology re-liquefies boil-off gas to reuse it as fuel on LNG carriers, and it has been marketed globally to win LNG-carrier orders by the three Korean yards.
However, DSME registered the technology as patent in January 2014, sparking a dispute.
The patent is believed to allow DSME to win orders to build 47 LNG carriers between 2014 and 2016, while Hyundai Heavy Industries and Samsung Heavy Industries won just 12 and nine orders, respectively.
An initial trial ruled in favor of DSME in May 2015 in the Intellectual Property Trial and Appeal Board.
DSME has indicated that it will now appeal to the Supreme Court.