Nichia targets Seoul, US inventor signs settlements

May 5, 2008
Nichia has filed a second lawsuit relating to white LEDs against Seoul Semiconductor in Japan. Separately, Epistar and Everlight have settled infringement claims filed by a US inventor.
Nichia Corporation has filed an action in Tokyo District Court against Seoul Semiconductor Co., Ltd. of Japan, the Japanese subsidiary of the Korean LED maker Seoul Semiconductor Co., Ltd.

Nichia seeks monetary damages for past infringement as well as an injunction against any further infringing activity. The action was announced in late April.

The complaint alleges that white LED products that are sold by Seoul Semiconductor of Japan (BW104-S, WH104, WH104-C, TWH104-H, MPW104-F1, WH107, WH201, WH601, WH108-S, WH108, FCW100, FCW100Z, FCW101Z, WH1222) infringe Nichia’s Japanese patent no. 3900144.

This is the latest infringement action between the two companies, who have ongoing disputes in the US, Korea and Japan.

Rothschild settles more disputes

Taiwanese LED maker Epistar Corporation, has settled a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Professor Gertrude Rothschild. The terms of the settlement are undisclosed.

Rothschild has previously settled patent infringement claims against leading LED makers Toyoda Gosei (see news), Osram and Philips Lumileds. A claim against Cree is still ongoing.

Rothschild had alleged that Epistar had infringed US patent nos. 4,904,618 and 5,252,499, which describe a very specific doping process that forms one step in the fabrication sequence for some LED chips. The patents were based on work carried out on II-VI devices, not the III-V nitride-based materials used in blue and green LEDs. However, the patent claims cover all wide bandgap materials.

Rothschild also recently filed a complaint with the ITC against at least 30 companies (see news), alleging infringement of her patents. So far, Seoul Semiconductor (see news) and Everlight Electronics have signed agreements to remove themselves from the ITC investigation.