Intematix certainly has a legacy in materials science and phosphor development. But in the SSL space, the company has also developed packaged multi-chip LED arrays, light engines and even light sources. However, it appears that phosphors, and new ways to supply phosphors to customers, will be the forward focus.
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Nichia warns rivals over red-emitting phosphors
In June 2010, Japanese LED maker Nichia issued a non-too-subtle warning to rival manufacturers that it believes could be infringing its phosphor-related patents relating to CASN and S-CASN materials. The announcement (www.nichia.co.jp/en/about_nichia/press.html) concerns phosphors that emit red light, and which are typically used in combination with a yellow-emitting phosphor to achieve warm-white LED light.
Specifically, Nichia says that it owns patents covering phosphors with the general formula CaAlSiN3:Eu, also known as CASN or S-CASN. The patents, also covering LEDs using these phosphors, have been filed in Japan, USA, Europe, China, Korea, and Taiwan. Several of the US patents listed are owned jointly by Nichia and Dowa Electronics Materials Co., Ltd.
Nichia said that it has “never licensed any of these patents to others," adding "Nonetheless, CASN phosphor and S-CASN phosphor have been manufactured in large quantities without Nichia’s authority, and LEDs using these phosphors also have been manufactured in large quantities as well.”
Nichia concluded by saying that it “expects that these patents will be respected,” which is an ominous statement considering Nichia’s history in involving itself in patent litigation.
This article was published in the September/October 2010 issue of LEDs Magazine. To read the full version of this article, please visit our magazine page, where you can download FREE electronic PDF versions of all issues of LEDs Magazine. You can also request a print copy of LEDs Magazine (available by paid subscription) and sign up for our free weekly email newsletter.