Nippon Steel Corporation said on Thursday it had filed claims for damages in Tokyo District Court against Chinese steelmaker Baoshan Iron & Steel Co., Ltd. (Baosteel) and Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota), respectively, claiming that they infringed Nippon Steel's patent on non-oriented electrical steel sheets.
In order to secure the claims, the Japanese metallurgical company demanded a ban on the production and sale of Toyota vehicles made with Chinese steel.
Nippon Steel has estimated its patent infringement losses at approximately 20 billion yen (approximately $ 176 million).
“Nippon Steel held discussions with each of Baosteel and Toyota, believing that these companies had infringed a patent on non-oriented electrical steel sheets, which are indispensable materials for electric vehicles; however, Nippon Steel was unable to resolve this issue through negotiations, ”the company said in a statement.
Non-oriented electrical steel sheets are considered a “multifunctional material” with significantly improved magnetic properties, which are realized through a special manufacturing process. Electrical steel sheet is widely used as cores for power generators in power plants, electrical products, motor vehicles, and even in vibration motors of mobile phones.