Through the program, licensees are given access to a wide range of basic LED control and system-level technologies available for use in branded LED-based luminaires and retrofit bulbs for general illumination, architectural, entertainment and theatrical markets.
Licensees pay a royalty to Philips that is a percentage of the selling price of the luminaire or lamp. The rate is on a country-by-country basis, depending on the breadth of Philips’ patent coverage in that country.
The royalty rates are 3% of the net selling price for a single-color luminaire, 4% for a tunable-white luminaire, and 5% for a color-changing luminaire or for a retrofit lamp.
Luminaire makers do not pay a royalty if they have purchased all the components, including the LED light engine and driver, from a qualified supplier, namely Philips, Osram or Zumtobel.
The IP portfolio includes the patented technologies acquired when Philips bought Color Kinetics in 2007. Several of these patents were controversial, and the subject of numerous lawsuits, although this concern has dissipated (at least in public) since Philips bought CK.
The list of licensees includes a few interesting names such as Ford Motor Co. and Harley-Davidson, while GE is a notable absentee.
Philips believes that its program is “enabling and fostering the industry’s growth in its transition from conventional lamps to energy-efficient, LED-based lighting solutions.” The company says that the demand for licenses “has grown significantly with an increasing number of companies realizing the benefits and opportunities that these licenses offer to them.”
Arian Duijvestijn, senior vice president of Philips Intellectual Property & Standards said: “As the market leader in LED lighting technology, we are opening up the market for LED lighting to companies and customers around the world through our LED luminaire licensing program…we are pleased that so many companies, from start-ups to large companies, recognize the value of Philips sharing key LED intellectual property to facilitate and accelerate their growth plans.”
Detlev Paulmann, CEO of Paulmann Light GmbH added: “Paulmann is a leading vendor of lighting products active in more than 40 countries. We are a family business with a passion for light and have taken on an early decision to make LED technology the main driver for our company future. We believe this license agreement with Philips will help us to further strengthen our offering, expand our portfolio, and bring products quicker to market for our customers.”