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   Patent News


Subject : Battles Among LED Firms   
Date 2011-06-29 Visit 7679

South Korean LED companies are responding head on to patent dispute cases filed by foreign LED manufacturers. The rapid reopening of the LED lighting markets in Japan and Europe in response to the decreased nuclear power plant operation after the recent earthquake in Japan led to many foreign LED manufacturers competing more fiercely with Korean companies. On the other hand, South Korean LED manufacturers are preparing themselves for taking the leadership role in the LED market as Nichia’s patent on white LEDs is nearing its expiration date.

Samsung LED filed for patent infringement and damages against Osram Korea in the Seoul Central District Court on 10 June. This is a response to the patent infringement suit filed by Osram against Samsung LED on 6 June in the United States and Germany. In addition, Samsung LED also sued Barun Electronics and Dabo Industrial System, the two Korean companies selling Osram LEDs in Korea. Samsung LED alleged that Osram infringed on 8 of its patents on ‘light lenses and high-power applications’, techniques that the company says are used widely in LED headlamp and general illumination applications. On the other hand, Osram’s US lawsuit largely revolves around the phosphor conversion of blue LED light from bare chips into white emission. The suits come as the Osram division is being prepared for a major initial public offering of stock (IPO) later this year.

The two companies are ranked as the world’s second- and third-largest manufacturers of packaged LEDs currently, with Samsung LED having recently overtaken Osram’s Opto Semiconductors division. However, a huge proportion of Samsung LEDs are used internally in the parent company’s televisions, and Osram OS remains the second-largest merchant supplier, behind Nichia of Japan. Samsung LED also has hinted strongly at further legal action in the future, saying that the Korean suit is its “first response” to Osram’s initial action. “Samsung LED is developing a measured response,” it added. Like Osram, Samsung LED says it has a vast portfolio of intellectual property relating to the light-emitting chips, including some 700 US patents and patent applications, as well as 2000 in its domestic intellectual property system. The likelihood is that Samsung will be preparing a further counter-claim against Osram in the US. “We are developing evidence to show that Samsung LED is not infringing any valid claim of Osram’s patents, as well as evidence of Osram’s unauthorized use of our patents; we are evaluating every contingency and will vigorously defend our technology,” said Jun Sung Park, Vice President and the head of the IP and Legal Affairs Team at Samsung LED.



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