- Archer Materials (AXE) responds to media speculation around the patents for its 12CQ quantum computer chip
- The speculation pertains to the company’s announcement titled “Biochip patent application enters US National Phase” on August 16
- An article claims AXE’s patent application in Australia was rejected, but the company says it is still active with corrections and clarifications underway
- Further, Archer has defended the decision to mark the announcement as price sensitive in a response letter to the Australian Securities Exchange
- Shares were trading 17.4 per cent lower at $1.69 cents at 12:11 pm AEST
Archer Materials (AXE) has attempted to clear up media speculation around the patents for its 12CQ quantum computer chip.
The speculation pertains to the company’s announcement titled “Biochip patent application enters US National Phase”on August 16.
There were questions around whether the company “ramped up” its announcement by marking it as market sensitive, with the ASX suggesting the filing of a patent application is “seldom” material as there’s no guarantee of being granted.
In a statement, the company quashed claims by the Australian Financial Review that its 12CQ chip related patent application in Australia was rejected by IP Australia, stating the patent application was still active.
AXE added the application in Australia remained filed and had not lapsed or been refused.
However, the company said IP Australia had requested additional information as well as corrections and clarifications to the application, which are to be provided by February 2022.
AXE claimed it was not unusual for patent examiners to make these types of requests.
Moreover, despite media claims, the company believes it has complied with its statutory and listing rule obligations after announcing on March 1, 2021, that it had received “First Office Actions” from Patent Offices of the US, China and Australia.
First Office Actions are said to mark the start of the patent application review by the National Office.
Another discrepancy AXE sought to clear up was that director Alice McCleary would resign at the company’s Annual General Meeting and not at its upcoming general meeting, which is being held to seek shareholder approval of the sale of its mineral exploration business.
In regards to the queries by the ASX, AXE has defended its decision to lodge its announcement as market-sensitive as it marked a “progression” of the patent process, the failure of which it believes would have precluded AXE from obtaining patent protection and, in turn, impinged upon the commercialisation of the Biochip.
The company also acknowledged the risk that the patent may not be granted and said it took a precautionary approach to disclosure to ensure the market was fully informed.
In the response to the ASX, Company Secretary Damien Connor said: “While it is acknowledged that there are often differences of opinion as to whether information may be considered to be market sensitive, in AXE’s opinion, where there is any uncertainty it is preferable to take a precautionary approach to disclosure so as to ensure that the market is fully informed.
“This is particularly the case in circumstances where more sophisticated investors have the means to access certain information via publicly available sources and, as a result, ensures that the necessary information is available to all sections of the market and that any incidences of information inequality are reduced.”
Archer said it would continue to update the market in accordance with its continuous disclosure obligations.
Shares were trading 13 per cent lower at $1.78 cents at 12:11 pm AEST.