Philips Lumileds wins LED patent ruling against Epistar

Jan. 1, 2007
The ITC has ruled that certain accused products from Epistar had no licenses from Philips Lumileds for asserted patents.
Philips Lumileds has received a favorable ruling from the Administrative Law Judge of the US International Trade Commission (ITC) presiding over Philips Lumileds’ patent infringement litigation against Epistar Corporation.

The case dates back to November 2005 – see Lumileds asserts AlGaInP patents against UEC and Epistar. UEC is now part of Epistar.

Lumileds claimed that Epistar's omnidirectional mirror adhesion (OMA) AlGaInP LED products and UEC's metal bond (MB) and glue bond (GB) AlGaInP LED products infringe one or more of Lumileds' US patents: no. 5,008,718; no. 5,376,580; and no. 5,502,316.

Lumileds has previously reached patent licensing deals with both Epistar and UEC covering absorbing substrate (AS) AlGaInP LEDs. However, Lumileds has not licensed its transparent substrate (TS) technology, and the two Taiwanese companies developed their OMA, GB and MB technologies as alternatives. Lumileds contended that the new LED technologies infringed its patents and were not covered by existing license deals with Epistar/UEC.

In the latest ruling, the ITC judge issued an Initial Determination that Philips Lumileds’ US patents listed above are valid and enforceable. Also, Epistar’s “metal bond” (MB) and MB II products was found to infringe the 718 patent. The judge also ruled that none of the accused products are licensed under Philips Lumileds’ asserted patents.

Because of this infringement, Epistar is violating section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 by importing its MB LEDs into the United States, selling them for importation, and/or selling them in the United States after importation. Philips Lumileds seeks permanent limited exclusion orders to prohibit importation and sale of the infringing LEDs and products containing such LEDs.

Philips Lumileds has also filed a complaint against Epistar and UEC in the US District Court for the Northern District of California for infringement of the same patents at issue in the ITC. In that suit, Philips Lumileds seeks both an injunction against future infringement as well as damages, including enhanced damages for willful infringement.