Nichia and Cree expand LED patent cross-licensing

As part of an extended collaboration on LED patents, Nichia's claims against Cotco, a subsidiary of Cree, have been resolved.

LED makers Cree and Nichia have agreed to expand the patent cross-license arrangements between the two companies. The agreements were announced in 2002 and 2005.

The new agreement includes additional patents relating to white LED technology, as well as certain Cree patents relating to nitride lasers.

The agreement also resolves infringement claims Nichia had asserted against LED products sold by Cotco International Limited, a subsidiary of Cotco Luminant Device Limited. The claims by Nichia were made prior to Cree's acquisition of Cotco Luminant Device Limited and its subsidiaries (see Nichia lawsuit targets Cotco LEDs in lighting product).

Also, Cree and Nichia have agreed to resolve any future patent disputes involving products of either company, or any affiliate in which it owns a controlling interest, through a process that eliminates any potential impact on customers.

Customers may therefore purchase either Nichia or Cree products free of any concern that Nichia or Cree will make a claim of patent infringement against the customer based on the purchased product. (As we have seen in the past, this does not prevent the customer from being subject to potential infringement action initiated by a third party.)

Other terms of the expanded cross license arrangements were not disclosed but are not expected to have any material financial effect on either party.

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