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11 October 2007


Nichia files second Korean patent lawsuit against Seoul Semi

LED maker Nichia Corp of Anan, Tokushima, Japan has filed a new lawsuit in the Seoul Central District Court alleging infringement of its Korean patent no. 491482 by the Z-Power LED P9 Series white LED products of Korea’s Seoul Semiconductor Co Ltd. Nichia is seeking damages for past infringement as well as an injunction against any further infringing activity.

In response Seoul, which is the world’s eighth-largest LED maker, has reiterated its announcement of 18 May that only a small amount ($2000 worth in 2007) of its Z-Power LED P9 was produced and sold in Korea using blue chips manufactured by the SemiLEDs Corp of Boise, ID, USA before it started using blue chips supplied by Cree Inc of Durham, NC, USA. SemiLEDs is proceeding lawsuit in Japan regarding the P9. Seoul says that it will cooperate with SemiLEDs on that lawsuit.

Nichia is already seeking damages for past infringement and an injunction against any further infringing activity in: a lawsuit against Seoul in the USA based on Nichia’s design patents for side-view type white LEDs; a lawsuit against Seoul and its distributor, Kyoei Sangyo, in Japan based on Nichia’s patents for white LED products (Z-Power LED P9 Series), and a lawsuit against Seoul in Korea based on Nichia’s patent for top-view-type white LEDs.

Regarding the latter, Seoul has also just issued a statement refuting the allegation that the blue chips in its TWH104-HS top-view-type white LED products infringe Nichia’s Korean patent no. 406201. Nichia filed its lawsuit in the Seoul Central District Court on 17 September. Seoul says it received the complaint from Nichia on 1 October.

Seoul emphasizes that, over the years, it has made significant investments in R&D, and has filed and registered more than 1200 patents. The firm say that it produces and sells products based on its own patent technologies, as well as patent technologies licensed from universities, institutes and companies including the University of California at Santa Barbara and the Solid State Light Display Center in the USA, and Nitride Semiconductor in Japan. Seoul has also entered cross-licensing and strategic cooperation agreements with LED chip makers including Cree Inc of Durham, NC, USA, Osram GmbH of Regensburg, Germany and Japan’s Toyoda Gosei.

Seoul asserts that there is no evidence to support Nichia’s claim and attempt to disrupt its business, and adds that it will defend itself against what it claims are unsubstantiated attacks from Nichia.

See related items:

Nichia expands patent cross-license with Cree; files white LED patent lawsuit against Seoul in Korea

Seoul signs LED patent cross-license agreement with Osram; Nichia lawsuit dismissed in US

AOT loses Taiwan patent invalidation action against Seoul Semiconductor

Nichia sues Seoul Semiconductor's Japanese subsidiary over white LEDs

Nichia loses Korean design patent rights for backlighting side-view white LED

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