Color Kinetics licenses LED patent portfolio to Neo-Neon

Dec. 19, 2006
Neo-Neon has signed a patent licensing agreement with Color Kinetics after being hit with a patent infringement lawsuit.
Color Kinetics has signed a global licensing agreement with Neo-Neon International Ltd, one of the world’s largest LED lighting manufacturers.

Neo-Neon, based in in Heshan, Guangdong Province, China, will be granted access to Color Kinetics’ complete patent portfolio, enabling Neo-Neon to continue to develop and sell its LED lighting products worldwide.

The licensing agreement was announced on December 18. Two weeks before, on December 4, Color Kinetics filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Neo-Neon in the US District Court in Massachusetts.

The lawsuit alleged that a large number of Neo-Neon's products infringed on several of Color Kinetics' patents. If the purpose of the lawsuit was to persuade Neo-Neon to sign a license, it worked very quickly; the lawsuit was dismissed on December 12, and then the agreement was unveiled.

The terms of the licensing agreement reflect that some of Neo-Neon's products resemble those developed by Color Kinetics. "The agreement provides a measure of protection for our Lighting Systems business by requiring a special royalty rate on sales of products that resemble our own,” said Bill Sims, president and CEO of Color Kinetics.

“We believe the market for LED lighting is very broad and can sustain many players. We therefore welcome the opportunity to enable companies like Neo-Neon who want to take advantage of our inventions in the fast-growing LED lighting space," continued Sims.

Neo-Neon is a 25-year established manufacturer of decorative and entertainment lighting products that include a growing number of LED-based offerings.

Through the agreement, Neo-Neon will be able to offer its customers the powerful capabilities of digital intelligence as protected by Color Kinetics’ patents. The license will apply to sales of numerous Neo-Neon products in all markets covered by Color Kinetics’ patent portfolio.

“We believe that demand for LED-based lighting products will continue to increase as the technology progresses and becomes even more competitive with traditional light sources,” said Ben Fan, Chairman, Neo-Neon. “As LED technology grows increasingly important to our business, we believe it’s important to align with Color Kinetics, whose pioneering R&D and resulting intellectual property are well established.”

“This agreement marks another strong win for our growing licensing business, which leverages nearly ten years of investment, research and development as the foundation of our IP,” said Sims.

Color Kinetics today holds 58 issued patents that range from core technology and products to high-level control systems, complete lighting systems, applications, environments and methods of use.