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21 August 2008


Seoul confident that Nichia’s US lawsuit lacks merit

Korean LED maker Seoul Semiconductor Co Ltd says that it plans to vigorously defend a lawsuit filed earlier this week by Japanese rival Nichia Corp in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan alleging that Seoul’s LED products (including Acriche) infringe Nichia’s US patent no. 6,870,191.

Nichia filed the lawsuit against Seoul Semiconductor Co Ltd, its US subsidiary Seoul Semiconductor Inc and its US distributor Avnet Inc alle. The lawsuit seeks an injunction from future infringements and an award of damages.

After reviewing the patent, Seoul says it believes that Nichia’s lawsuit lacks merit and that the patent’s LED substrate is patterned with a protruded and recessed trapezoid, which it claims is different from Seoul’s products.

Seoul says that, in May, a federal judge in a lawsuit filed by Nichia in the US District Court for the Northern District of California (case number C060162EMC), who denied Nichia’s motions for an injunction and attorney’s fees against Seoul, noted that Nichia seemed to be using lawsuits “attempting to obtain some unstated ancillary advantage over defendants in Asia”. Seoul believes that Nichia’s latest lawsuit is a similar misuse of the legal process.

Seoul and Nichia are currently engaged in 12 lawsuits throughout the world. Recently, Seoul was successful in invalidating in Korea one of Nichia’s core LED patents for lack of novelty. In this latest lawsuit in Michigan , Seoul will also seek to invalidate Nichias 6,870,191 patent based on prior art.

See related items:

Nichia files US patent lawsuit against Seoul Semiconductor

Korean IP tribunal rules Nichia’s patent lacks novelty

Seoul refutes Nichia’s German patent infringement allegation

Nichia files German patent lawsuit against Seoul Semiconductor’s Acriche products

Korean IP tribunal rules Seoul Semi LED design invalid

US court rejects Nichia’s $2.5m claim for fees against Seoul

Nichia files UK lawsuit against Seoul’s Acriche products

Nichia sues Japan Seoul Semiconductor over white LEDs for keypads, indicators

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