Letter to the Editor: Color Kinetics clarifies issues
Color Kinetics executives "set the record straight" on issues surrounding the company, its patents, and related lawsuits.
To: The Editor, LEDs Magazine
Many thanks for publishing our Q&A in December 2004 and giving us the opportunity to clarify some of the misinformation that’s been circulating about Color Kinetics, our patent portfolio and related litigation. It appears that, despite our efforts, misinformation continues to circulate, and we’d like to set the record straight for your readers.
Color Kinetics’ unique contributions to the entertainment lighting industry are well documented, stemming from our original product’s debut as the one-and-only intelligent LED lighting system at LDI in 1997.
When others dismissed the potential of LEDs for illumination, Color Kinetics took on the heavy lifting to resolve technical challenges, educate the specification community, lay the groundwork for gaining UL listing and other regulatory compliance standards, and heavily invest in research that would ultimately deliver viable illumination systems.
Our focus is on developing and delivering the industry’s best and broadest range of intelligent solid-state lighting systems with superior customer service, and we won’t be distracted from that goal.
Far exceeding the concept of color-mixing, which we don’t claim to have invented, Color Kinetics charted completely new territory, not only by merging intelligence (such as microprocessor control and a network address) with LEDs to create intelligent solid-state lighting devices, but also by developing new indoor and outdoor fixtures for architectural and consumer markets, new networking and addressing protocols, new calibration technologies, new thermal management systems, new optical systems, new authoring software, custom ASICs, and a host of other technologies.
As pioneers, we took the risks and solved the problems that other manufacturers in our footsteps don’t have to. The knowledge, expertise and technology that derive from our multi-million dollar R&D program are openly available to the industry, but not for free. They’re available through fair and reasonable OEM and licensing agreements, as is the practice in many other industries.
We encourage you, the industry media, to question the credibility and true motives of those who are attacking Color Kinetics and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, particularly those who criticize the system even as they purchase and enforce patents against others in the industry. Question our most vocal critic’s annual investment in R&D, and consider their copious record of litigation, which involves suits with not just other competitors, but a law firm, a bank, a supplier and a customer.
Unlike the aforementioned critic, Color Kinetics has not purchased patents as a litigation tool. We have created innovative technologies to drive our business, and, like any responsible company would, we have protected those inventions with patents; patents that have been independently subjected to due diligence by multiple international patent governing agencies, partners, and investment firms.
Color Kinetics has an open and active OEM and licensing program that, in part, helps to drive adoption of intelligent solid-state lighting. It also helps partners like Main Light Industries and Altman Lighting expand or enhance their existing product lines with industry-proven LED technology and expertise.
We welcome legitimate competition; it validates the technology that we were instrumental in creating and commercializing. Yet we will continue to vigilantly guard our intellectual property in a professional manner when necessary.
Finally, we urge anyone with questions about Color Kinetics and our intellectual property to contact us directly, and not rely on the tenuous opinions of those who are not legal experts.
George Mueller, Chairman & CEO
Bill Sims, President & COO