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27 November 2018

Seoul Semiconductor expands patent litigation against LED TV distributor

© Semiconductor Today Magazine / Juno PublishiPicture: Disco’s DAL7440 KABRA laser saw.

South Korean LED maker Seoul Semiconductor Co Ltd has expanded its patent infringement litigation filed on 31 August in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against big-box consumer electronics retail firm Fry’s Electronics Inc.

In its amended complaint, Seoul asserts that top brand televisions being sold in Fry’s stores infringe 19 patents covering backlight lenses, backlight modules, LED chips, LED packages and phosphors, as well as WICOP (wafer-integrated chip-on-PCB) technology that enables LED chips to be directly soldered onto printed-circuit boards.

Seoul’s backlight lens patents relate to a new concept of lens technology for manufacturing thin and light TVs. This patented technology was developed jointly with optical expert Dr David Pelka and included what Seoul claims was substantial R&D investment in optical lenses. Seoul consequently has about 160 related patents in this area.

Seoul says that its backlight module patent enables significant improvement in the color gamut of LCD displays by using KSF phosphors. Co-developed with Mitsubishi Chemical Corp over many years, the related technology has been widely incorporated in most mobile phones and increasingly applied in LCD TVs too, says the firm.

The WICOP patents enable LED chips to be soldered to a PCB without an LED package. Seoul says that other companies may be attempting to imitate its patented technology, describing it as a CSP (chip-size package) requiring a sub-mount between a PCB and an LED. Protecting its patented technology has led Seoul to expand its infringement claims in the ligation against Fry’s.

Seoul says that, to safeguard its LED backlight technology and other protected inventions, it has actively enforced its patent rights and sent cease-and-desist letters against suspected infringers. As a result, the United States Federal Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision on 19 November that one of its competitors willfully infringed its LED lens and backlight module patents. The appellate court also found that that Korean LED package company Lumens Co Ltd supplied TV makers with LED backlight bars incorporating infringing products.

“We hope that our commitment for technology innovation would inspire young entrepreneurs and small businesses,” said Sam Ryu, Seoul’s vice president of IT Business. “Protecting that technology against infringement is a cornerstone of our business and sends an important message to the market and other innovators who would follow in Seoul’s footsteps – that hard work and innovation will be respected.”

See related items:

Seoul Semiconductor sues TV retailer Fry’s Electronics for LED patent infringement

Tags: Seoul Semiconductor LEDs

Visit: www.SeoulSemicon.com

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