The Clearweld process was invented in 1998 by TWI, Ltd., a U.K.-based industrial research and development organization that specializes in materials joining. Shortly thereafter, TWI began working with Gentex Corporation to identify and develop near IR absorbing materials to enable the Clearweld process. TWI subsequently granted exclusive commercialization rights of Clearweld to Gentex, which continued to develop intellectual property and materials technologies to further refine and advance this new technology.
Established in 1892, Gentex is a privately owned technology company with four operating units: Helmet Systems, Performance Materials, Respiratory Products and Electro-Acoustic Products. The company is a world leader in both military and commercial markets with extensive research and development capabilities.
The Clearweld process is covered by a number of worldwide patents owned by or licensed to Gentex Corporation. In turn, rights to use the process are granted to those who purchase material from Gentex or from its licensed supplier, Crysta-Lyn Chemical Company, which acquired the license to manufacture and distribute Clearweld products in 2011.
Utilizing the Clearweld process with laser-absorber materials from unlicensed suppliers may constitute infringement of these patents.