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Heraeus Electronics, MacDermid Alpha Electronics Solutions and Henkel Win Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Senju Group

Heraeus, Alpha Assembly Solutions and Henkel have won in the patent infringement lawsuit against Senju Group (Senju Metal Industry Co., Ltd., Senju Metal Europe GmbH and Senju Manufacturing Europe S.R.O.) as pronounced by the District Court Frankfurt on April 3, 2024. The 1st instance judgment confirmed Senju’s infringement of the patent EP 1 617 968 B1 in Germany by the M794 solder alloy material.

The legal dispute culminated in a victory for Heraeus, Alpha Assembly Solutions, and Henkel, with the court granting motions for declaration of liability for damages, injunction, and the recall of infringing products, namely Senju’s M794 solder material from its industrial customers in Germany. The ruling, which can be appealed by Senju, reinforces the significance of intellectual property protection in the electronics assembly industry and upholds the commitment of the plaintiffs to defend their innovative materials.

In response to Senju’s attempts to invalidate the patent-in-suit through a patent nullity suit, the German Federal Patent Court upheld the patent with some amendments, in first instance on August 31, 2023. This decision confirms the validity of the amended form of the patent EP 1 617 968 B1, covering innovative solder alloy formulations. Senju’s appeal to the Federal Court of Justice is pending.

The patentees sell solder alloy formulation, marketed under the brand names Innolot® (MacDermid Alpha Electronics Solutions and Heraeus) and Multicore 90ISC (Harima Chemicals Group, formerly Loctite 90ISC Henkel),representing a breakthrough in lead-free solder technology. Developed through a cooperative project, these materials offer improved reliability performance, particularly in harsh environment electronics applications. They are designed to withstand high temperatures while remaining solderable at standard lead-free process temperatures, making them ideal for automotive applications and other demanding environments.

About Heraeus

The Heraeus Group is a broadly diversified and globally leading family-owned technology company, headquartered in Hanau, Germany. The company’s roots go back to a family pharmacy started in 1660. Today, Heraeus bundles diverse activities in the Business Platforms Metals and Recycling, Healthcare, Semiconductor and Electronics as well as Industrials. Customers benefit from innovative technologies and solutions based on broad materials expertise and technological leadership. In the 2022 financial year, the group generated revenues of €29.1 billion (US$30.6 billion*) with approximately 17,200 employees in 40 countries. Heraeus is one of the top 10 family-owned companies in Germany and holds a leading position in its global markets. (* calculated with 2022 average exchange rate, 1€ = 1.0530 US$)

About Heraeus Electronics

Heraeus Electronics is a leading manufacturer of materials for the assembly and packaging of devices in the electronics industry. The company develops material solutions for the automotive, power electronics and advanced semiconductor packaging market and offers its customers a broad product portfolio – from materials and material systems to services.

For more information, contact:

Katja Völz

MacDermid Alpha Electronics Solutions:
Joanna Locke

Sebastian Hinz