Conversion technology for LEDs was developed by the Osram Opto Semiconductors, a subsidiary of Osram GmbH, Munich. It enables white LEDs to be produced using blue emitting InGaN (Indium Gallium Nitride) based chips and a suitable fluorescent converter.
"Over the years, our subsidiary has built up a very strong position and we have a good deal of intellectual property at our disposal," explains Gerd Pokorny, senior vice president of Osram GmbH in Munich., Germany.
Osram has signed patent contracts with Nichia, Rohm, Vishay and Samsung Electro-Mechnaics, as well as two other Taiwanese companies, Everlight and Lite-On (see LED licensing agreements and patent disputes).
Osram says that it owns many patents covering several aspects of the technology used in white LEDs, for example the following:
US 6,576,930 - white LED conversion principle
US 6,812,500 - silicone + converter
US 6,613,247 - particle size
EP 907969 - conversion principle (only restricted)
EP 862794 - particle size
"In this area Osram vigorously enforces its patent rights against infringing products as we have knowledge about many non-licensed producers," says Pokorny. "Currently we have filed a lawsuit with the ITC (International Trade Commission) in Washington against Dominant Semiconductors Sdn. Bhd., Malaysia, for infringement of our patent rights. Additional lawsuits against other companies who do not respect Osram's intellectual property rights will follow soon. Some of these companies are located in Taiwan."