IBM is protesting the award of basic patent rights to the University of Tokyo for a superconductive material. IBM scientists in Zurich first published a thesis in September 1986 which suggested that superconductors could be made from ceramics, and developed a superconductive oxide ceramic which lost resistance at a much higher temperature than conventional superconductors. A team at Tokyo University, led by Professor Shoji Tanaka, confirmed the result several months later and developed its own single-phase crystal superconductive material which added Strontium to IBM’s Lanthanum-Barium-Copper cocktail. They then applied for – and now hold, patent rights on the single-phase crystal structure.
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