UK nanotech company in trouble

One of Britain’s leading nanotechnology companies is in a legal battle over one of its key products.

Oxonica, a technology company listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), makes Envirox, a product designed to boost the efficiency of diesel fuel. Envirox is used in the fleet of buses operated by Stagecoach, the British national bus company, which also owns two million shares in Oxonica. The nanotechnology company is also backed by Richard Farleigh, the Australian businessman
and star of BBC2’s Dragon’s Den.

It has emerged that Envirox is at the centre of a legal dispute between Oxonica and Neuftec, a company based in the Dominican Republic that claims to have invented the fuel additive. Oxonica has filed a patents suit in London’s High Court to protect itself against the claims. Neuftec has said that it will fight the suit and believes that the British firm is using its technology unlawfully. Kevin Matthews, the chief executive of Oxonica, said that the dispute with Neuftec was minor. “Intellectual property disputes like this are commonplace in nanotechnology,” he said. But he urged Neuftec to come to the negotiating table. Ronen Hazarika, the founder of Neuftec, said that any settlement would have to be substantial.

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