Jury Findings Impact on Everlight and Nichia Lawsuit

The judge’s final verdict will probably be based on Michigan Federal jury findings that two Nichia patents were invalid in the case against Everlight, said former Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) researcher Jerry Yu.

The Michigan federal jury’s arrived to a favorable decision for Everlight after finding two of Nichia’s fundamental LED patents US Patents No. 5,998,925 (925) and No 7,531,960 (960) were invalid. Patent 960 is “Light emitting device with blue light LED and phosphor components,” and 925 is named “Indium, gallium, aluminum nitride; garnet containing rare earth oxide”.

Yu, who has been closely following Nichia and Everlight’s ongoing patent war developments for some time, noted 925 and 960 patents were crucial patents that have blocked Taiwanese LED manufacturers from entering the North American market.

Everlight’s chances of winning the lawsuit are high, since the judge’s final ruling will probably be based on Michigan jury decision last Wednesday that both patents were invalid, explained Yu.

Yu is an LED intellectual property expert in Taiwan, who currently works as a general manager for an international patent consultant company based in Hsinchu, Taiwan. His contributions to optics and LED intellectual property is widely recognized, and has earned him the country’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) prestigious Presidential Innovation Award in 2014.

LEDinside believes Everlight will receive a favorable ruling in the lawsuit against Nichia, but the ongoing legal battle is unlikely to end, since Nichia will probably appeal against the court ruling. If Everlight wins the patent war in U.S, the patent barriers Nichia set up in North America will be torn down, which will surely benefit Asian LED manufacturers.

In Everlight’s latest Chinese-language press release, aside from addressing the recent jury decision, the company highlighted it had won two other LED patent infringement cases against Nichia. According to the company statement, the Japan court’s ruling in May 2014 that Nichia’s white LED patent JP4530094 as invalid was a crucial turning point that paved the way to recent legal victories. Nichia appealed against the court decision and submitted an amended patent, which was recognized by Japan Patent Office. However, Everlight’s products and technology were not related to the amended patent scope.

The company also won a white LED patent infringement case involving Nichia’s YAG patent DE 69702929 (EP 0936682) in Germany that dates back to March 2012. The Düsseldorf District Court initially ruled Nichia won the case on September 3 2013, but Everlight appealed against the ruling. A year later, the German court overturned the previous ruling and ruled Nichia’s YAG patent and related intellectual property were invalid.

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