Samsung to pay $150m to Nanoco in IP case

Manchester nano-material firm Nanoco Group — which produces quantum dots used to make vibrant screen displays — announced that final agreements have been signed to settle the litigation with Samsung on a no fault basis for the alleged infringement of Nanoco’s intellectual property (IP).

Nanoco said the litigation has been concluded with a $150 million cash settlement to be paid in two equal tranches, with Nanoco retaining over $90 million in net proceeds after litigation costs.

Nanoco also published a trading update for its half year ended January 31, 2023.

The firm’s shares fell about 25%.

The Manchester firm said said the settlement is structured as a sale of non-core patents and a global, perpetual, fully paid up licence agreement, and that the settlement ends all global litigation with Samsung.

Nanoco chairman Chris Richards said: “This has been a long and hard battle for Nanoco. The outcome is remarkable, given the relative scale of Nanoco and Samsung.

“The settlement value is almost three times our own low case damages model; settling now avoids the risks associated with further litigation and the adverse impact from the time value of money in an appeals process that would have extended for years.

“Even more importantly, it validates Nanoco’s core IP, which we will continue to defend vigorously.

“In deciding the allocation of the net proceeds, the board will balance any investment needs of Nanoco’s growing organic business with a firm intention to deliver a material return of capital to shareholders.”

Nanoco CEO Brian Tenner said: “Today marks the start of a new chapter for Nanoco. We have successfully validated our core IP against one of the world’s biggest electronics companies, who were advised by one of the most expensive law firms in the world.

“Others operating in our space should take note.

“We therefore remain vigilant to other potential infringement activity, as well as opportunities to pro-actively deliver new licence agreements.

“The confirmation of the validity of our IP is already encouraging more commercial interest in Nanoco as a supplier of leading edge nano-materials.

“We have also generated a transformational amount of value for our stakeholders, whilst providing the funding for investment in the business.

“We have done this while transforming Nanoco and positioning ourselves for significant organic growth in the near term.

“Most importantly, we have a foundation on which to focus on the organic business as we continue to build on the significant positive momentum achieved in the last few years.”