15 September 2020
Nixon Peabody expands patent enforcement campaign for UCSB
Nixon Peabody recently announced a major expansion of its patent enforcement campaign on behalf of the Regents of the University of California (UC) with new litigation against six leading retailers and suppliers of filament LED lighting products.
Building on a successful first phase of the campaign launched in 2019, Nixon Peabody filed a new complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) seeking an investigation into the unauthorized importation and sale after importation of UC’s patented filament LED lighting technology by General Electric, Savant Systems, Feit Electric, Home Depot, Ikea and Satco Products.
Light bulbs made with UC’s patented filament LED technology are often referred to as ‘Edison’ or ‘vintage’ LED light bulbs because they resemble Thomas Edison’s iconic light bulbs with glowing filaments visible inside glass bulbs, but they also include light bulbs with frosted glass. Filament LED lighting products are increasingly popular, with a wide range of bulbs, fixtures and other products that incorporate UC’s patented technology being available through retailers and suppliers, and appearing in a growing number of homes and businesses around the world, says Nixon Peabody.
The goal of the campaign is to license UC’s patents covering work at University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and to protect UC’s licensees from unlicensed competition. Revenues from licensing help UC to support more of the educational opportunities and academic research that produce innovations like filament LEDs. In the year since the campaign was launched, more than a dozen retailers and suppliers have licensed UC’s patented technology and are now authorized to import and sell filament LED lighting products.
“The new litigation is an important next step in addressing what is becoming ubiquitous infringement, so that UC is rightfully compensated for the exploitation of its inventions and the important benefits they provide to society,” says Seth Levy, a Los Angeles-based partner at Nixon Peabody. “UC remains committed to standing up for university patent owners and leading the conversation with industry partners about fair compensation for the use of university patents.”