Patent Reexamination Board of the SIPO Dismisses Intematix Suzhou Lighting’s Claim Against Red Phosphor Patent Owned by Mitsubishi Chemical and NIMS

Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC; Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President: Hitoshi Ochi) and National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS; Location: Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki; President: Kazuhito Hashimoto) today announced that the Patent Reexamination Board of the State Intellectual Property Office of the P.R.C. (SIPO) has dismissed every aspect of the claim, filed on November 2, 2016, by China’s Intematix Suzhou Lighting Co., Ltd.* 1 (Intematix Suzhou Lighting), requesting for the invalidation of the Chinese patent (No. ZL201110066517.7; “the patent”* 2 ) for red phosphor, a material used extensively in light-emitting diodes (LEDs), owned by MCC and NIMS. The board approved the validity of the patent, and MCC and NIMS received the written decision effective May 10.

The patent is one of the basic patents covering nitride-type red phosphor known as CASN, SCASN, or 1113 phosphor*3 , and LEDs, lighting devices, backlighting for LCD panels, etc., that use the phosphor. CASN and SCASN, because of their high brightness and reliability, are the red phosphors used most extensively in LEDs. Red phosphor manufactured and sold by MCC has earned high regard among LED manufacturers.

In addition, on January 23, 2015, MCC filed a suit in Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court alleging that products of the following three companies: the U.S. Intematix Corporation (Intematix), Intematix Suzhou Lighting, and GrandLux Optoelectronics Co., Ltd. (a Intematix distributor in China), infringed on the patent. MCC seeks an injunction on the production and sale of phosphors in China and damages in this lawsuit. This suit is currently pending, but it is expected to move more swiftly following this decision by the Patent Reexamination Board of the SIPO to approve the validity of the patent.

The board’s decision affirmed the validity of important intellectual property of MCC, which aggressively invested and developed business in China for many years. MCC believes the ruling will allow it to continue contributing to the orderly and healthy growth of the phosphor industry. It shall not overlook any party infringing on any of MCC's intellectual property, and will take every appropriate measure necessary. 

Notes: 1. ”Intematix Suzhou Lighting Co., Ltd.” is the translation of “英特美光电(苏州)有限公司.” 2. The patents are registered in Japan, the U.S., Korea, and Taiwan in addition to China. Regarding CASN, SCASN, or 1113 phosphor, MCC owns relevant patents other than the above patent. 3. CASN, SCASN, or 1113 phosphor whose general formula is CaAlSiN3:Eu, (Sr,Ca)AlSiN3:Eu, etc

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