European Patent Office Upholds Dow Corning’s LED Optical Silicone Encapsulants Patents

Dow Corning, a global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, announced that the European Patent Office (EPO) rejected a request to revoke patent EP-1556443. The patent is part of the rich intellectual property (IP) portfolio that protects the company’s proprietary high refractive index (RI) phenyl-silicone-based optical encapsulant technology, which offers enhanced light output, improved reliability and other benefits for high-brightness LED lighting designs. The EPO’s decision significantly strengthens Dow Corning’s IP position in Europe’s fast-growing LED lighting market where patent compliance is strategically important, as well as other key global LED manufacturing centers, such as the U.S., Japan, Korea and China.

"We are clearly pleased with this validation of our uniquely innovative optical encapsulant technology," said Rogier Reinders, global marketing director for Electronics and Lighting at Dow Corning. "We believe that a strong IP portfolio supports not only Dow Corning’s interests, but those of its customers and of the LED industry as a whole. Firm patent protection fuels new innovation, fosters differentiated LED solutions, supports the reliability of LED lighting and helps substantiate the industry’s claim that LEDs offer a legitimately competitive alternative to incumbent lighting solutions."

The EPO published EP-1556443 – a foundational patent in Dow Corning’s IP portfolio – on March 27, 2013. Shortly after its publication two parties filed an opposition with the EPO Opposition Division to revoke the patent. However, the EPO re-affirmed the document’s validity with a minor amendment and, on June 21, 2016, issued an official dispatch that Dow Corning’s patent will be maintained as amended.

"The Opposition Division’s recent decision underscores the strength of the IP underlying Dow Corning’s phenyl-based optical silicone technology," Reinders added. "We invite LED designers and OEMs to collaborate with Dow Corning – both as a leading pioneer in optical silicone solutions, and as a company dedicated to rigorously defending the IP that underlies our collective innovations."

Over the past decade, the high efficiency and reliability afforded by Dow Corning’s phenyl silicones has helped establish the company as today’s recognized market and technology leader in optical encapsulants for high-performance LED applications. Many of the company’s optical encapsulants fall under the recently upheld patent or its associated IP portfolio. So, LED manufacturers can be confident they are designing with high-performance encapsulant materials backed by strong international patent protection.

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