Seoul Semiconductor has successfully revoked Japanese lens maker Enplas’s LED lens patent in Taiwan, adding to a string of legal victories against Enplas in the U.S., Korea, and Europe. As a result of Seoul’s challenge, Enplas’s patent has been revoked in Taiwan.
Since patent litigation between the two companies began, Seoul has pursued enforcement of its LED backlight lens and system patents against infringing products by Enplas. On March 24, 2016, a U.S. jury ruled in Seoul’s favor against Enplas, finding that Enplas actively induced infringement of Seoul’s patented technology with respect to all of the patent claims presented by Seoul. The jury found that Enplas’s infringement was willful. The jury also unanimously agreed that Seoul’s LED backlight lens patents were valid, rejecting all of Enplas’s invalidity arguments. The jury awarded Seoul US $4.07 million in damages for induced infringement.
Seoul has also won worldwide victories in its invalidation actions against Enplas’s backlight lens patents. In the U.S., Seoul filed inter partes review (IPR) petitions against three backlight lens patents owned by Enplas. All three were invalidated by the United States Patent Trial and Appeal Board. In Korea, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the USPTO, invalidating all the claims of Enplas’s backlight lens patent. In Europe, the European Patent Office declined to register Enplas’s backlight lens patent based on prior art references that were brought to its attention by Seoul.
On January 26, 2016, Seoul filed an invalidation action against Enplas’s backlight lens patent in Taiwan based upon the same invalidity grounds. Enplas was unable to defend against these invalidation contentions and has had to cancel all of its patent claims, which has resulted in revocation of the patent.
“A series of patent litigations against Enplas has demonstrated that Seoul Semiconductor has pioneered patent portfolios regarding LED backlight technology,” said Seung Ryeol Ryu, Seoul’s IT Application R&D Officer. “We are continuously monitoring third party companies that are infringing our patented technology and will pursue enforcement actions where necessary to protect our company’s long-standing investment in intellectual property.”