ArcelorMittal patent case to be reviewed in district court

2013-04-25T06:00:00Z ArcelorMittal patent case to be reviewed in district courtJim Masters Times Correspondent
April 25, 2013 6:00 am  • 

EAST CHICAGO | ArcelorMittal Steel continues to press its patent rights in federal court over the use of its Usibor-AS aluminum silicon coated product.

The steelmaker filed complaints before U.S. District Court in Delaware on April 16 claiming AK Steel, Severstal North America and Severstal’s coating partner, Wheeling-Nisshin, have infringed upon it Usibor-AS patent by selling steel grades protected under the Usibor patent to automakers and their supply chains, according to an ArcelorMittal news release.

Also on April 16, the United States Patent and Trademark Office reissued AcelorMittal’s patent covering domestic production of Usibor-AS as a hot rolled or cold rolled steel. The patent does not expire until July 9, 2019.

ArcelorMittal’s steelmaking facilities in Northwest Indiana supply Usibor, popular among U.S. automakers.

Previously, a federal appellate court set aside a lower court's jury verdict that partly invalidated the patent ArcelorMittal held on Usibor. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington said the federal district court made an error in determining the standard the jury used to judge whether products made by rival steel companies violated ArcelorMittal's intellectual property claim.

If the court again rules in favor of ArcelorMittal, the steelmaker will seek damages against AK Steel and Severstal, as well as an injunction prohibiting the two companies from further sale of the patented steel product.

“As an unfortunate result of the legal process against our competitors, partners in our supply chain may face financial impact as well as potential reputation issue related to the use of infringing materials,” said ArcelorMittal spokeswoman Mary Beth Hatton.

Usibor is a key automotive steel product for ArcelorMittal, which is often used in anti-intrusion and safety cage components and contributes a significant weight savings for the vehicle part, thereby adding fuel efficiency, as compared to standard high-yield strength steel.

Locally, ArcelorMittal operates integrated steel mills in East Chicago and Burns Harbor, a global research and development facility in East Chicago, a hot strip mill in Riverdale, a plate mill in Gary and processing and finishing joint venture facilities in New Carlisle.

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