Lumileds Wins Jury Verdict of Liability for Intellectual Property Theft Against Elec-Tech International

Lumileds has won the verdict against a Chinese company who stole trade secrets of Lumileds’ LED technology and was awarded US$ 66 million, as judged by the Superior Court of the State of California.

Chinese Company Elec-Tech International (ETI) was found liable for damages in intellectual property theft with its CEO, Donglei “Tony” Wang and a former employee of Lumileds, Gangyi Chen, misappropriating Lumileds trade secrets related to the company’s core technology for making high power LEDs used in flash phones, automotive headlights and general illumination. The jury awarded Lumileds US$66 million for compensating its cost of research and development which the jury concluded ETI saved by using Lumileds trade secrets rather than engaging in its own development.

(Image: Lumileds)

The trade secret theft involved ETI’s CEO, Donglei “Tony” Wang, who authorized a substantial payment to be made to Gangyi Chen four months before he left Lumileds to go to work for ETI in China, effectively putting him on the payroll of ETI while he was working daily with Lumileds’ most confidential trade secret technology.

Cheree McAlpine, senior vice president of General Counsel at Lumileds, said,“We are pleased that the jurors recognized the clear intellectual property theft by Chen, Wang and ETI, and the extent of the damages caused by this misconduct. The precedent set by today’s verdict sends a clear message to the industry that intellectual property will be guarded and enforced to safeguard the health of our business.”

“At Lumileds, we invest heavily in innovation to support our customers,” said Mark Adams, Lumileds chief executive officer. “We will continue to work with the judiciary, law enforcement, and appropriate government agencies, to defend and protect our valuable intellectual property rights.”

On the other hand, Elec-Tech stated, “We are obviously disappointed by Friday’s outcome, but as we asserted during the trial Elec-Tech independently developed its own process for LEDs and never took, nor used any of Lumileds’ technology. Further, the technology they asserted in this case is all generally known and cannot be claimed to be proprietary in any way. We plan to appeal the verdict.”

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