After two years of litigation, Lynk Labs’ patent action focused on a Juno Lighting business deal has been settled with Acuity Brands and Schneider, the current and prior parents of Juno.
Lynk Labs has announced that it reached a settlement with Acuity Brands and Schneider Electric of an AC-LED-centric patent lawsuit that Lynk filed in 2015 against Juno Lighting. Terms of the settlement are confidential, but Lynk is almost certainly being compensated for past damages and for ongoing usage by Acuity of its intellectual property (IP). Indeed, Lynk said Acuity received licenses to a portion of the Lynk Labs solid-state lighting (SSL) patent portfolio.
We initially reported Lynk’s lawsuit against Juno in June of 2015. Schneider was the primary owner of Juno at that time, and Lynk later filed to add Schneider to the suit. Later that year we reported on Acuity’s acquisition of Juno that subsequently led to Lynk adding Acuity to the suit.
The suit covers actions that occurred much earlier in the 2008 timeframe. According to the details in the court filing, Lynk Labs entered a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) with Juno as a precursor to Juno using Lynk’s AC-LED technology in its lighting products. Ultimately, Lynk manufactured an LED module that Juno used in the first and second generations of the successful Trac 12 lighting system. Indeed, the filing indicates that Lynk supplied around 300,000 modules to Juno.
The filing states that Juno ultimately asked for exclusive rights to the technology which Lynk was not willing to offer in a license. And according to the court documents, Juno presumably took the module design to other third-party OEMs for module manufacturing, both discontinuing its purchases from Lynk and violating the terms of the NDA.
The settlement was almost certainly a positive development for Lynk Labs. “This is a significant achievement and winning milestone for Lynk and its shareholders," said Mike Miskin, chairman and CEO of Lynk Labs. "This settlement validates the value and contribution made by Lynk and our intellectual property in the LED industry.”
Lynk has regularly announced issuance of patents in the SSL field over the past decade or more. For example, in 2013 the company announced a patent entitled “AC Light Emitting Diode And AC LED Drive Method And Apparatus” that brought to 13 the total number of AC-LED-centric patents in the company’s portfolio.
"Lynk has invested millions of dollars in R&D that has enabled LEDs to be easily designed into, and used in LED replacement lamps such as T8 LED tubes, MR lamps, or lighting systems such as tracklights, downlights, and more, as well as powering LED lighting with high-frequency AC sources such as electronic ballasts, transformers, and inverters,” said Miskin.