Japanese shipyards Naikai Zosen and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding have come to a settlement in a long-running patent claim.

The dispute dates back to October 2020, when Mitsubishi filed a claim in the Tokyo District Court against Naikai, demanding ¥1.24bn ($8.2m) in relation to a patent that Mitsubishi had registered in January 2018.

The dispute is understood to be related to the structural design of a ferry built by Naikai, which initially strongly contested the claim.

However, in a note to the Tokyo Stock Exchange this week, Naikai said that in consideration of the impact on its business of a long-running dispute — and the mounting litigation costs — it had decided to come to a settlement.

It said the settlement figure is ¥5m, for which Mitsubishi has agreed not to pursue the claim.

Naikai has been focusing on the ropax market and is building a pair of LNG dual-fuel 15,600-gt units for Mitsui OSK Lines.

More recently, it has started to build bulk carriers.

Mitsubishi is a close competitor. It has largely pulled out of commercial shipbuilding but is still active in building ropaxes at its Shimonoseki shipyard.

For first nine months of the fiscal year, Naikai reported sales of ¥36bn, up 34.2% from a year earlier, and a net profit of ¥2.26bn, up 185%.