To counter legal risks arising from a wide variety of tax, trade, anti-trust and environmental laws and regulations, we base our decisions on centralized contract management and extensive legal counsel. In many cases, we seek external legal advice. Patents, trademarks and licenses are monitored and protected by the Intellectual Property department. By reviewing patent regulations, we intend to determine – prior to initiating R&D projects – to what extent existing third-party patents and intellectual property rights could impair competitive marketing of any newly developed products, technologies or processes. We currently know of no potential risks that could arise from patent infringements. An antitrust action in the context of possible price-fixing agreements for road salt is currently pending against Wacker Chemie AG and other companies. The Bundeskartellamt (German federal cartel office) issued anti-trust fines in summer 2008. Since Wacker Chemie AG cooperated with the relevant authorities, it was not affected by anti-trust penalties.
Legal Risks Are Limited via Centralized Contract Management
As a global company, we are totally committed to observing and acting in accordance with the laws, statutes and ethics of the various countries in which we are active. WACKER’s Code of Conduct defines and stipulates binding rules of behavior for all employees. Via employee training, we enhance awareness of these issues and attempt to prevent reputation-related risks.