(Author: Judy Lin, Chief Editor, LEDinside)
Nichia announced on June 13, 2016 it filed patent infringement lawsuits against U.S. retailers and distributors Feit Electric, Meridian, Lowe’s Companies and L G Sourcing for allegedly distributing LED bulbs that had infringed its patents.
In all three lawsuits, the patent-in-suit invovles Nichia’s U.S. Patent No. 8,530,250 (patent 250). This is the same patent that Nichia won against Everlight in Eastern District of Texas in January 2016, which describes a low-cost method for manufacturing involving LEDs where adhesiveness between a leadframe and thermosetting resin composition is high.
The Japanese company stated in three separate press releases it is seeking the injunction directed to the sale and distribution of infringing LED lighting products, such as Feit's “BPOM60/830/LED Bulb”, Lowe's “Utilitech Pro 24-in Strip Light”; Meridian’s Decorative Pleated Shade LED Night Light and its LED 26w Equivalent CFL Plug-In Replacement. In addition, it is seeking damages from all three distributors for past infringements.
It appears Nichia is specifically targeting LED bulb manufacturers distribution channels in these three recent lawsuits.
Based on LEDinside’s observations, Nichia’s patent lawsuit strategy is targeting the end-product or demand side to curb the usage of unpatented LED chips, and urge end-product manufacturers to transfer to Nichia’s products. The Japanese company first announced this strategy in late March 2016, when it targeted LED backlight products for LCD TV applications in its suit against Vizio. The recent three suits against Feit Electric, Lowe’s Companies, Meridian and L G Sourcing further abides to this approach.