South Korean ballast water treatment technology manufacturer Techcross has acquired the rights to patents held by Mitsubishi and Hitachi on BWTS installation technology. The move is to avoid potential patent disputes
Techcross has pre-empted any potential conflicts over intellectual property rights or breach of patents disputes by purchasing the patents held by Hitachi and Mitsubishi to a particular methodology for installing ballast water treatment systems. The key objective of this patent transfer is to ensure all Techcross customers are supplied legal product solutions reliably within the scope of international law, as well as to eliminate potential risks such as legal disputes.
Techcross reports the patents cover the comprehensive installation solution which handles the installation location of direct/indirect electrolysis equipment and pipe structures of UV and electrolysis equipment. The solution is said to be unique because the BWMS can be installed near the bridge towards the aft of a ship, allowing effective use of space in the ship. According to Techcross, the ship structures or hull shapes do not need to be modified to install BWMS when using this solution. This also means the BWMS can be easily installed on new and existing ships alike.
Techcross reports that the transfer of rights will be completed by the beginning of June. The patent is recognised in four major shipbuilding countries including South Korea, China, Indonesia and the Philippines.
As of 2020, Techcross holds 115 patents and utility models regarding BWMS, related technologies and installation solutions. Acquiring the patents comes at a time of growing investment by Techcross, including what it claims to be the largest manufacturing factory in the industry, a training centre and an extensive global network.
In 2019, Techcross had sales of US$152M, a growth of 230% on the previous year. Techcross recently won a large order to install BWTS on South Korea’s largest semi-submersible transport vessel.
Techcross previously acquired land-based water treatment companies LG Hitachi Water Solutions and HiEntech, both former subsidiaries of LG Electronics.
Ballast water treatment does not stop with compliance. Industry’s stakeholders discuss the issues in the Ballast Water Treatment Beyond Compliance webinar, which is now available to view.