[Breaking News] Everlight Scores a Major Win against Nichia in Ongoing Patent Dispute

A Michigan federal jury on Wednesday granted a favorable ruling to Everlight Electronics Corp. by declaring two of Nichia’s US LED patents to be invalid, according to Law360.

The patents-at-issue, US Patents No. 5,998,925 and No 7,531,960, are related to the invention of light-emitting diodes featuring phosphors.

The Michigan jury ruled Nichia’s No. 5,998,925 patent invalid on the grounds of obviousness, but noted Everlight did not present substantial evidence to support its argument that the patent was invalid, due to lack of enablement and anticipation.

A diagram from Nichia's U.S. LED patent No. 7,531,960. (All images courtesy of USPTO)

As for the second patent No 7,531,960, the jury ruled Everlight had presented sufficient evident to support Nichia’s patent was invalid because of lack of enablement and obviousness.

Patent No. 7,531,960 is a “Light emitting device with blue light LED and phosphor components” patent that was approved by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in 2009. The patent involves a light emitting device, comprising a light emitting component and a phosphor that can absorb a part of light emitted by the light emitting component and emitting light of wavelength different from that of the absorbed light.

The other patent involved No. 5,998,925, “Indium, gallium, aluminum nitride; garnet containing rare earth oxide” patent was approved by USPTO in 1999, and is also related to phosphor powder technology in LED manufacturing.

A diagram from Nichia LED patent No. 5,998,925, which was approved in 1999.

Taiwanese LED manufacturer Everlight first filed the suit against Nichia in April 2012, seeking a court judgment of non-infringement and alleging its rival for failing to perform certain experiments stated in the two patents.

Everlight’s victory is an indication that Nichia’s patents will become invalid in U.S., said a source from Everlight.

Nichia could not be reached by LEDinside for further comments.

The two companies have been engaged in a lengthy legal battle since 2005 that was initiated by Nichia against Everlight’s white LED technology.

(Editors: Kevin Yang, Editor, TrendForce and Judy Lin, Chief Editor, LEDinside)

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