ONCE Files 100th Patent Application for Specialized Lighting in Agriculture

ONCE Files 100th Patent Application for Specialized Lighting in Agriculture and retains Vinson & Elkins LLP as Intellectual Property Counsel Concerning Sale, License, and Enforcement of the General Illumination Portfolio. The application, “Photonic Engine System for Actuating the Photosynthetic Electron Transport Chain”, adds to a diverse set of intellectual property assets across multiple lighting segments, including agriculture, horticulture and the general lighting market.

ONCE Innovations (ONCE), a world leader in specialized lighting for production agriculture, announced the filing of its 100th U.S. Patent. The application, “Photonic Engine System for Actuating the Photosynthetic Electron Transport Chain”, adds to a diverse set of intellectual property assets across multiple lighting segments, including agriculture, horticulture and the general lighting market. The growing ONCE portfolio includes 26 issued patents worldwide, with overseas rights in the EU, Japan and China.

In a related move, ONCE also announced that it has retained the law firm of Vinson & Elkins LLP (V&E) to provide legal services relating to the ONCE patent program. V&E main focus will be on the General Illumination applications of the ONCE portfolio, which the company is open to licensing or selling outright. V&E has extensive experience in this area, including the enforcement of patent rights in the US and international markets. V&E is an international law firm with intellectual property counselors and litigators in Austin, Dallas, Houston, New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C, as well as offices throughout Europe and Asia.

“ONCE technology is designed from the ground up, based on fundamentally new understandings of what connects living organisms to light. Our patent program is based on the investment of significant capital into research and development. Filing our 100th active patent application is an important accomplishment reflecting the company's ongoing attention to innovation and a candid testament to the outstanding achievements of our R&D team,” commented Joe Hoffman, ONCE General Counsel.

In commenting on the decision to out license or sell the non-agricultural rights to the ONCE patent family, ONCE CEO Zdenko Grajcar said, “We are not just another LED company. We are in the agricultural lighting business with a mission to help growers produce more food at lower costs. Our core focus in on the research in areas of animal and plant photobiology and related optogenetics. We feel leveraging our research findings in specialized, biologically adjusted lighting has huge potential in agricultural markets.”

Since its founding in 2009, ONCE has been strategic in filing of U.S. and international patent applications to sustain a long-term competitive advantage stemming from our innovations. ONCE have entered into limited licensing arrangements to promote the development of innovative products using ONCE’s intellectual property in the general illumination market. Over the last several months, company has been approached by several other companies with requests to license proprietary line voltage LED (AC LED) and color shift technology outside of agriculture markets. ONCE found it increasingly challenging to deal with licensing and potential enforcement demands while continuing to innovate, particularly in horticulture. “Retaining V&E is a great strategic choice to manage this process,” Mr. Grajcar concluded.

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