Super Vision files new patent lawsuit against Color Kinetics

April 11, 2006
Here we go again. Super Vision has filed a new lawsuit against Color Kinetics, alleging infringement of a Super Vision patent.
Super Vision International has filed a new patent infringement lawsuit against a rival LED lighting manufacturer Color Kinetics. The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, seeks past due royalties and damages for past and current infringement violations of its US patent no. 4,962,687 (the '687 patent) entitled "Variable Color Lighting Systems."

The two US-based companies have a complicated history involving numerous lawsuits, so much so that LEDs Magazine website has its own section dedicated to the rivalry (see Patents: Color Kinetics and Super Vision.

Things have been quite for about six months since Super Vision suffered several defeats - see Super Vision suffers major setbacks in patent battle against Color Kinetics (Editorial, Oct 05).

Most recently, in September 2005, the court dismissed the lawsuit filed in March 2004 by Super Vision alleging that Color Kinetics was infringing the '687 patent. The latest lawsuit reopens the same line of attack by Super Vision.

Super Vision acquired the '687 patent from High End Systems, Inc, and says in its latest press release that it has ownership and enforcement rights, including the entitlement to both past due and future royalties on the patent.

This is a crucial point; the previous lawsuit was dismissed because the court determined that Super Vision, rather than being the owner of the patent, was a non-exclusive licensee, and as such had no right to enforce the patent. However, at that time, the court did not rule out the possibility of a future lawsuit, should Super Vision acquire the appropriate rights from the patent owner. This is clearly what has happened.

The '687 patent provides for broad coverage in its claims for the use of networked, centrally controlled, addressable color changing lighting systems incorporating pulse width modulation and variable digital control circuitry which can vary the intensity of individual lamp/light source elements to generate numerous colors.

Super Vision manufactures solid-state LED and fiber-optic lighting systems and controls used in commercial, architectural, signage, swimming pool and retail lighting applications.