Nichia achieves 150lm/W white LED, sues UK retailer

Nichia continues to push the boundaries of white LED efficacy, and is also using a UK high-street retailer over the sale of white LED christmas lights.

LED maker Nichia says that it has achieved an efficacy of 150 lm/W at a drive current of 20 mA for a lamp-type LED (for example part no. NSPWR70).

The LED has a luminous flux of 9.4 lm, at a color temperature of 4600 K. No further details were given. The efficacy value exceeds that of a conventional fluorescent lamp (90lm/W) or even a high-pressure sodium lamp (132lm/W).

In recent months, Nichia published a research paper quoting a figure of 138 lm/W for small-area LEDs (see Nichia researchers report 400 lm white LED at 2 A).

Nichia sues Argos

This being the season of goodwill, Nichia has filed an injunction to prevent the sale of white LED Christmas lights.

The Japanese LED maker has filed a lawsuit against a UK-based high street retailer, Argos Ltd, in the London High Court (Patents Court). The proceedings, which include a claim for damages and a permanent injunction from future infringement, were served on Argos earlier in November 2006.

The claim relates to the sale by Argos of white LED Christmas lights including "120 White Multifunction LED Lights" and "144 Multifunction White LED Crab Lights". Nichia believes that these products infringe at least two of its European Patents.

Nichia plays down impact of Korea patent decision

Nichia has commented on the patent case in Korea that saw a design patent ruled invalid (see Nichia settles US patent litigation, loses case in Korea).

The invalidated patent was originally granted as a related design, attached to another design patent. However, the Korean Intellectual Property Office ruled that the related design was actually not similar, and this invalidated the related design patent.

Nichia argues that the design patent in question would not have been invalidated if it had been correctly registered as an independent design patent. Also, Nichia says that KIPO's decision will not have any effect on ongoing lawsuits in the US between Nichia and Seoul Semiconductor.

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