The agreement comprises the mutual licensing of both companies’ patents. This includes patents owned by Osram’s LED manufacturing subsidiary, Osram Opto Semiconductors, as well as patents assigned to Cree LED Lighting, formerly LED Light Fixtures Inc.
The cross-license agreement covers patents from both parties in the fields of blue LED chip technology, white LEDs and phosphors, packaging, LED luminaires and lamps, and LED lighting control systems.
Osram describes the deal as a continuation of its policy of concluding patent cross-license agreements with other large LED manufacturers. In recent years, the company has entered into similar agreements with other major players such as Nichia, Philips and Toyoda Gosei.
Such agreements accelerate the spread of LED technology in all application fields, said Osram. They help companies in the development, production and marketing of new products by mitigating the risk of inadvertently infringing other companies' patent rights.
The deal will help to protect customers of Osram and Cree from some of the potential patent disputes that may arise in relation to some of the companies’ LED products.
“For all companies involved, the respectful management of intellectual property is essential for the smooth development of LED technology,” said Martin Goetzeler, COO of Osram. “The agreement with Cree is an important step in this process.”
“Over the last two decades, we have developed innovative, energy efficient LED lighting technology and have protected this technology under international intellectual property laws,” said Chuck Swoboda, Cree chairman and CEO. “This agreement can enable our customers to accelerate the LED lighting revolution.”
Cree recently announced a similar broad cross-license agreement with Philips and has existing patent agreements with Nichia and Toyoda Gosei regarding LED technology.