Market Players Mine for Patent Gold in LED Industry

Over the years, LED lighting has filtered into many different application facets, including commercial, residential, digital communications, TV displays, mobile devices, street lighting, and more. Due to its expansive array of uses and ever lowering prices, annual global sales are estimated to grow 54 percent from 2013 reaching US $24 million, according to IP fir, iRunway. The rapid growth of the industry has spurred manufacturers to look for new ways to stay ahead of the pack. Market players are therefore looking for new patents in LED technology while strongly enforcing their IP rights.

iRunway has recently released a study on leading companies with the most LED related patents. Their study states that over 22,000 US patents related to LED technology are in the market, the vast majority of which have only been released within the past five to ten years. 

“Major players in the LED industry are currently involved, on an average, in almost three active litigations per company, and in numerous additional licensing agreements,” write the report’s authors. “By all appearances, the LED industry’s patenting practices have matured even before the technology itself has.”

The following is a table compiled by iRunway of the top 15 manufacturers that have the largest amount of US parents related to LED technology. 

Number of 'seminal' LED patents
Total number of LED patents
Samsung
3.97%
6.04%
58
737
Philips
6.90%
2.64%
26
328
Osram
1.61%
1.42%
18
290
Kodak
0.58%
1.26%
40
264
Seiko
0.69%
1.16%
17
261
Sharp
0.52%
1.14%
4
249
Hitachi
0.52%
0.99%
16
209
Semicon Energy
0.29%
0.90%
(chart courtesy of The IP Media Group)

Samsung blows all competitors out of the water in of number of patents. However, in terms of seminal patents, Philips is the clear leader. 

LED technology has been flourishing in the areas of R&D, patenting, and commercialization, according to iRunway. However, this could in turn lead to patent wards not too far down the road for the LED industry. 

For iRocket's pre-release copy of their study: download here

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