Osram and Philips sign LED luminaire patent license agreement

The two largest European lighting manufacturers, Royal Philips Electronics and Osram, have concluded a patent license agreement for LED-based technology used in luminaires.

Osram says that the agreement "will give the market for LED-based lighting a further boost." Philips described the agreement as "a next step in making the basic Philips LED control IP broadly available to accelerate the development of the market."

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In June 2008, Philips announced a patent licensing program for LED-based luminaires – see news. Customers of Philips that purchase all key LED luminaire components from Philips already enjoy the advantage of not having to pay royalties under this licensing program.

Now, Osram has taken a license from Philips to obtain the same effect for Osram customers. In other words, LED luminaire manufacturers can now use key components from Osram without having to pay license fees to Philips.

Osram says that these "special rights" relate not only to patents held by Philips but also to patents held by Color Kinetics and TIR Systems, which were acquired by Philips last year.

According to Philips, this new arrangement also benefits Philips customers, because it includes royalty-free access to Osram LED system patents when purchasing all key components from Philips.

Rudy Provoost, Chief Executive Officer of Philips Lighting, said "Trends such as the shift to solid-state lighting and the transition to energy-efficient lighting, impact the way we do business. Both Philips and Osram are aware of the changing market. We therefore see it as a milestone concluding this agreement so that our customers can further develop the LED-based lighting market."

Martin Goetzeler, CEO of Osram, said "Thanks to this agreement, Osram key components provide our customers with unique opportunities. It stimulates new possibilities for the lighting market and, like Philips, we will accelerate the development of this market."

This is not the first licensing agreement between these two major players; Philips and Osram signed an LED and OLED cross-licensing agreement in January 2007 (see news), although very few details were revealed.

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