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12 September 2006


Cree files patent lawsuit against BridgeLux

Cree Inc of Durham, NC, USA, which makes LEDs for solid-state lighting, has filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina seeking monetary damages and injunctive relief against power LED
chip supplier BridgeLux Inc Sunnyvale, CA, USA (formerly eLite Optoelectronics) for infringing US Patent nos. 6,657,236 and 5,686,738.

The '236 patent, "Enhanced Light Extraction in LEDs through the Use of Internal and External Optical Elements," relates to light extraction structures used in LEDs. The '738 patent, "Highly Insulating Monocrystalline Gallium Nitride Thin Films," relates to semiconductor devices manufactured
using a gallium nitride-based buffer technology.

A co-plaintiff in the '738 suit is Boston University, whose trustees own the patent and license it to Cree on an exclusive basis. The patent was invented by Dr Ted Moustakas, a professor in the College of Engineering and one of the founding faculty of the university's Photonics Center (established in 1994 to accelerate the translation of advances in electrical and optical engineering to the marketplace). The patent was also the subject of two
prior suits brought by Cree and Boston University against Japan's Nichia Corp and AXT Inc of Fremont, CA, USA, both of which resulted in settlements.

"Cree's leadership in LED technology is the result of significant investment in R&D and our patent portfolio over the last 19 years," stated Cree chairman and CEO Charles Swoboda. "The filing of this suit demonstrates Cree's willingness to protect our R&D investments and patent rights, especially at a time when some segments of the LED marketplace act as if there are no issues with intellectual property."

Cree's product families include blue and green LED chips, lighting LEDs, and LED backlighting solutions.

Visit Cree: http://www.cree.com

Visit Boston University: http://www.bu.edu/photonics