Review of Business Disputes Among LED Manufacturers Throughout 2015

In general, LED Manufacturers performed quite well over the past eight months in 2015. But competition among LED manufacturers intensified through price wars, patent disputes and fighting over distribution channel were overwhelming. A summary of recent lawsuits among these manufacturers as following:

Patent infringement lawsuits

Cree sues Unity Opto over patent infringement

In January 2015, Cree filed complaints to both the U.S. International Trade Commission and in the federal court of Wisconsin, claiming that both U.S.-based Feit Electric, an unlisted company and Taiwanese-based Unity Opto has infringed its patents for LED chips, LED package and LED bulb design and operations.

Mitsubishi Chemical files plaintiff against Intematix and Yantai Shield Advanced Materials Co., for red phosphor patent infringements

On Jan. 23, 2015, Mitsubishi Chemical filed a suit alleging that products of Yantai Shield Advanced Materials and Intematix infringed a patent for red phosphor (Chinese patent no. ZL201110066517.7), seeking an injunction to ban the production and sales of the infringed goods in China. The lawsuit was filed in the Intermediate People’s Court in Shenzhen City.

Zumtobel files LED patent infringement lawsuit against AOC International Group

Tridonic Jennersdrof files patent lawsuit against AOC International (Europe) B.V. and AOC International (Europe) GmbH, claiming the infringement of its shared patent EP1352431 B1 with B.O.S.E. in March 2015.

Osram granted favorable ruling in patent infringement lawsuit against ASUS

In late May, Osram announced it has obtained favorable ruling during the first trial of its patent infringement lawsuit against the Taiwanese consumer electronics manufacturer ASUSTek Computer. Osram claimed that the first generation of Nexus 7 tablets infringed its German patent DE 196 55 185. The District Court in Düsseldorf granted Osram an injunction, stating that ASUS is required to compensate Osram’s damage caused by the patent infringement. ASUS has filed an appeal against the judgment, while Osram activated the provisional enforcement of the judgement.

Feit Electric sues Cree over patent infringement

Feit Electric Company has filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina against Cree. According to Feit Eletric, the 4FLOW LED bulbs from Cree has breached the U.S. patent 8408748 and 9016901.

U.S. court invalidates GE Lighting patents in lawsuit against Lighting Science

Lighting Science Group announced that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio granted the company for summary judgement, invalidating certain GE Lighting Solutions LLC patents and dismissed GE Lighting’s patent infringement claims against Lighting Science in Aug 2015.

The lawsuit charges six LED manufacturers, including Lighting Science for two of its LED patents, U.S. Patent No. 6,787,999, entitled LED-Based Modular Lamp, and U.S. Patent No. 6,799,864, entitled High Power LED Power Pack for Spot Module Illumination.

Nichia sues Everlight’s subsidiary WOFI for patent infringement

Japanese LED giant Nichia and leading Taiwanese LED manufacturer Everlight has a long history of patent infringement disputes. Nichia has filed a patent infringement lawsuit in Germany at the District Court Düsseldorf against the Germany- based manufacturer, a subsidiary of Everlight, WOFI Leuchten Wortmann & Filz GmbH (WOFI).

Nichia is seeking permanent injunction, rendering account and damage based on its newly-granted YAG patents EP 2 276 080 and EP 2 197 053. However, Everlight has refuted in its press release that the German court rulings invalidated Nichia’s EP 936 682 patent upon Everlight’s request, and that Nichia intentionally concealed the ruling information in its press release.


Civil and trade mark disputes

Tanlong Photoelectronics involves in civil lawsuit.

On April 2015, Tanlong received a court summons and civil complaint from the Huangpu People's Procuratorate of Shanghai Municipality that its subsidiary Shanghai Jeames Electronic Materials exceeded a loan of RMB$19.5 million (US$ 3.06 million).

Vanmol & Oupu Sued by Opple for Copying Trade Mark

Opple Lighting filed a complaint of trade mark infringement against Vanmol & Oupu. The Chinese electrical appliance company Vanmol & Oupu manufactures products with the Chinese character

“OuPu”, which is identical to Opple Lighting’s registered trademark. Opple Lighting request an injunction of the trade mark and RMB$ 25 million compensation.

Infighting continued: NVC Lighting sued former chairman and subsidiary NVC China

NVC Lighting recently filed a complaint through a financial association in the first branch of the The Chongqing first intermediate people's court against former chairman Changjiang Wu along with a related person and two related firms.

The financial association that acts on behalf of NVC Lighting requested defendants to return RMB$ 34 million loan and interest along with four other borrowers.

Investors seeking RMB$ 27 million in compensation from Foshan Electric Lighting (FSL)

Starting from 2013, Foshan Electric Lighting (FSL) received 2,749 people filed securities litigation complaints against the company. FSL revealed on Aug. 31 that the company received 290 plaintiffs requesting a total compensation of RMB$ 255.8 million and HK $ 22.2 million (USD$ 2.8 million). Combined, the company is expected to pay a total of RMB 27 million in compensations.

(Translator: Emma Chang, Editor, LEDinside)

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