Seoul Semiconductor (SSC) announced that it won a patent infringement lawsuit regarding LED backlight lens technology against Japanese lens maker Enplas.
In October 2013, Enplas sued Seoul in Northern District of California in U.S. seeking a declaratory judgment that its products do not infringe SSC LED backlight lens patent and backlight system patent. The patents-in-suit were respectively 6,473,554 (patent 554), entitled “Lighting Apparatus Having Low Profile,” and 6,007,209 (patent 209), entitled “Light Source for Backlighting”. The patent 209 is related to notebook backlight applications. Enplas also asked the court to find that SSC’s patents are invalid. In April 2014, SSC filed an answer, defending its patents and asserted counter-claims that Enplas is actively inducing infringement of Seoul’s patents.
On March 24, 2016, a California federal jury rendered a verdict finding that Enplas actively induced infringement of SSC’s patented technology with respect to all of the asserted patent claims and that such infringement was willful. The jury unanimously agreed that SSC LED backlight lens patents are valid and rejected Enplas’s invalidity arguments. The jury awarded Seoul Semiconductor US $4.07 million in damages for inducement.
According to an Enplas press release published in January this year, the company product affected by the 2013 patent lawsuit is Light Enhancer Cap, the company’s diffusing lens modules for LEDs. In the filed suit dating back to October 2013, SSC claimed Enplas was making and selling unauthorized and unlicensed lens products to third parties, including Lumens and LG Innotek.