Epistar Wins Appeal in Patent-Infringement Case

Epistar Corp, Taiwan‘s largest LED (light-emitting diodes) manufacturer, won its appeal of a patent-infringement case in which Lumileds, the LED unit of Royal Philips Electronics, was trying to block its chips from the US market.

The Appeals court lifted an import ban that had been imposed on LED chips made by Epistar.

The dispute is over LED chips that are used in traffic signals and brake lights. An appeals court ordered the US International Trade Commission (ITC) in Washington to consider the validity of a patent owned by Philips, Europe’s largest consumer-electronics maker.

The Lumileds invention is for a transparent layer that provides a brighter light.

Epistar had been barred from challenging the validity of the patent because of earlier settlements involving different products made by Epistar and a company that was bought by Epistar. And the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said that Epistar had reserved the right to challenge the patent if there were new infringement claims.

If the ITC decides to reimpose the ban after a review of the patent, the block must be limited to Epistar chips and can’t be extended to products that include the chips and are made by companies, the Federal Circuit ruled.

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