M7D Corp., which does business as WD Lab Grown Diamonds, has announced that it has entered into patent sublicensing agreements with lab-grown diamond sellers ALTR (India) Private Limited, ALTR Inc., and Evolution Diamond.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
WD called the agreements the first of their kind in the industry and said in a statement they permit ALTR and Evolution to distribute diamonds grown by the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and other global territories where Carnegie Institution of Washington’s patents are in force.
WD has sued ALTR and parent company R.A. Riam Group for patent infringement in January, though the case was settled in March. It does not appear to have brought any legal action against Evolution.
WD is still prosecuting patent infringement cases in Southern District of New York federal court against two other lab-grown diamond producers, Fenix and Singapore-based IIa Technologies, as well as lab-grown diamond distributor Pure Grown Diamonds, IIa’s New York City–based sister company. Those cases were also originally filed in January.
The three companies have denied any infringement and have filed motions asking the court to cancel Carnegie’s patents.
The sublicensing agreements incorporate a pair of patents WD has licensed from the Carnegie Institution of Washington since 2011. The first Carnegie patent—6,858,078—covers CVD diamonds grown using microwave plasma. The second (RE41,189) involves the use of a high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) annealing treatment to visually improve the diamond’s color and clarity.
ALTR launched in 2016 as a division of Amish Shah’s R.A. Riam Group. Evolution Diamond is based in New York City and is led by Rajiv Kothari.
“To set a precedent that symbolizes legitimacy and responsible business practices in the lab-grown diamond category is a matter of pride and a great opportunity for us,” said Hitesh Mehta, managing director of ALTR India, in a statement.
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