Patents: Blue and white LEDs

In the past several years, LED manufacturers have announced a wide range of patent licensing deals, but also continue to become embroiled in legal disputes. Updated May 2006.

Nov 30th, 2004
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General

Industry IP alliance aims to help small LED suppliers (May 06)
Membership of the IP-Secure Lighting Alliance will provide a degree of confidence to LED integration customers.

Toyoda Gosei and Lumileds sign patent agreement (Apr 06)
Two premier LED manufacturers have signed an agreement allowing them to use each other's LED-related patents.

Patent disputes involving Nichia

Nichia sues German company Moeller Electric (May 06)
Nichia files LED design patent action against Everlight (May 06)
Nichia settles LED patent dispute with Epistar (Apr 06)
Nichia warns Harvatek, drops patent claim (Feb 06)
Nichia asserts design patents against Seoul Semiconductor (Jan 06)
Nichia seeks provisional injunction against Taiwanese LED maker (Nov 05)
Nichia seeks injunction against white LED Christmas lights (Aug 05)
Nichia settles patent disputes with LED distributors
Nichia settles patent dispute with Korean rival Luxpia (7 June 2005)
Nichia settles "amicably" with US retailer Sharper Image (8 April 2005)
Nichia granted injunction against imported white LEDs (26 November 2004)
Nichia settles white LED dispute with E&E Japan (29 October 2004)
Nichia heads back to Tokyo court citing Japanese affiliates of Epistar and Everlight (23 June 2004)
Nichia sues Sharper Image over white LEDs; Optronics settles dispute (3 June 2004)
Nichia granted injunction against Everlight (31 October 2003)
Update: Nichia gains injunction against Epistar (6 October 2003)

Licensing agreements involving Osram Opto Semiconductors

Osram and Avago sign LED patent cross-license agreement (Feb 06)
Osram and Lednium sign white LED license agreement (Nov 05)
Ya Hsin licenses white LED technology from Osram (Sept 05)
Osram grants LED patent license to Harvatek (30 November 2004)
Osram and Vishay sign white LED licence deal (29 April 2004)
Osram grants white LED license to Samsung Electro-Mechanics (1 March 2004)
Osram grants LED license to Lite-On Technology (2 February 2004)
Osram grants LED patent license to Everlight (20 October 2003)
Osram grants white LED license to Rohm (29 October 2002)
Nichia and Osram Opto enter licensing agreement (26 June 2002)

Licensing agreements involving Cree

Cree, Seoul sign LED chip supply and IP agreements (May 06)
Cree licenses white LED patent to Kingbright (Dec 05)
Cree licenses white LED patent to Stanley, Rohm, Cotco (19 May 2005)
Cree and Nichia announces white LED cross-licensing (11 Feb 2005)
Cree and Nichia resolve LED patent dispute (18 November 2002)

Patent disputes involving Osram Opto Semiconductors

Osram sues Taiwanese rival Kingbright (May 06)
Dominant also claims victory in Osram patent case (Feb 06)
Osram Opto wins patent action in USA against Dominant (Feb 06)
Dominant cleared of infringing Osram Opto’s patents (23 May 2005)
Osram Opto files patent lawsuit against Citizen (3 May 2005)
Second LED distributor yields to Osram (5 October 2004)
Dominant fires lawsuit back at Osram (24 August 2004)
Osram accuses Dominant over LED patent (11 June 2004)

Licensing agreements involving Intematix

Intematix licenses white LED phosphor to Kingbright (Mar 06)
Edison Opto, ProLightOpto license Intematix phosphors (Sept 05)
Itswell licenses white LED technology from Intematix (3 May 2005)
Intematix licenses LED phosphor technology to LumiMicro
Intematix licenses white LED phosphor technology to AOT (25 March 2005)

Licensing agreements involving Nichia

Cree and Nichia announces white LED cross-licensing (11 Feb 2005)
Nichia cuts InGaN deal with OptoTech (6 August 2004)
Licensing agreements stabilize nitride optoelectronics field (Compound Semiconductor magazine, December 2002)
Cree and Nichia resolve LED patent dispute (18 November 2002)
Lumileds and Nichia sign cross-licensing agreement (28 October 2002)
Nichia and Toyoda Gosei settle their differences (17 September 2002)
Nichia and Osram Opto enter licensing agreement (26 June 2002)
Nichia and Citizen enter white LED manufacturing alliance (9 January 2002)

Nichia and Nakamura

Nichia settles patent dispute with former researcher (12 January 2005)
Japanese LED manufacturer Nichia is to pay a sum of 843 million yen to former employee, Shuji Nakamura, in settlement of a patent dispute relating to blue LEDs.

Nakamura awarded $189 million for LED patents (2 February 2004)

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