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Date: 2018-08-14
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LED industry patent disputes continue China's LED companies have any countermeasures?

日期: 2018-08-14
浏览次数: 180

For LED companies, the patent layout has a decisive impact on the future development and positioning of the company. At present, some enterprises actively distribute patents and form a powerful and effective patent protection network; some enterprises have a weak awareness of patent protection, which often allows peers to take advantage of it and suffer from it.

In recent years, the LED lighting industry has copied into the wind, counterfeiting, and patent disputes have arisen one after another. Since 2018, a number of patent disputes have occurred in the LED industry. Now, together with the OFweek Semiconductor Lighting Network, we review:

On February 2, 2018, Seoul Semiconductor Co., Ltd. in Milan, Italy, initiated a patent infringement lawsuit against the global electronic components distribution business Ze Electronics and its Italian subsidiary for its sales of Everlight LED products. According to the content of the lawsuit, Seoul declared that Moser must be responsible for selling the Everlight LED products that infringe Seoul's patent rights. Based on the alleged infringement, Seoul filed a permanent injunction, damages, withdrawal from the market and destruction of such products.

On February 20, 2018, Seoul Semiconductor Co., Ltd. announced that Seoul had won the lawsuit against the patent infringement filed by the British Patent Court against Everlight Electronics. The lawsuit in Seoul ultimately led to the invalidation of a patent EP(UK) 1169735 patent relating to the heat dissipation structure of LED packages. After a series of intensive litigation procedures in the English courts, Everlight gave up the defense and admitted in court that its patents were invalid and was responsible for paying litigation costs in Seoul.

On March 8, 2018, Seoul Semiconductor and its subsidiary, Seoul Weisuo, stated that they have sold products that are suspected of infringing on Acrich technology developed for the first time in the world, in the US Federal Court, for lighting companies and retail in the United States. The business filed three patent infringement lawsuits.

In March 2018, at the Frankfurt exhibition, Zhejiang Ningbo KLITE was reportedly allegedly infringing on the patent for the filament lamp, resulting in the booth being surrounded and asking for rectification of the booth. The suspected infringing LED filament lamp bulb was suspected of being confiscated. It is reported that the company that initiated the lawsuit is Taiwan's "liquid-light solid-state lighting" company.

In May 2018, the LED chip manufacturer Crystal Electric issued a statement saying that the LED filament bulb products sold by American LED lighting manufacturer V-TAC USA Corp. infringed many US patents for crystal electricity, so it has recently been in the Central Federal Republic of California. The local court filed a patent infringement lawsuit and applied to the court to issue an injunction prohibiting V-TAC from continuing to sell infringing LED products. In the complaint, Jingdian pointed out that the three LED filament bulbs VT-5115D, VT-5100D and VT-5133 sold by V-TAC infringe on several US patents.

On May 8, 2018, Nichia Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. filed a patent infringement suit against the company in the Tokyo District Court for the manufacture and sale of lighting fixtures, which was filed by Motor Industry Co., Ltd., as the company has admitted to Japan. The lawsuit was filed and ended on April 13, 2018. The alleged infringing product in this lawsuit is mounted on a white LED in a ceiling luminaire manufactured by the company, model number TEX85029.

On July 2, 2018, Shenzhen Customs seized suspected infringing products from two manufacturers in Jiangxi and Dongguan, because these products were suspected of infringing the patent rights of Shenzhen Jiabitai Intelligent Lighting Co., Ltd. lighting products. The two manufacturers infringed on the “Bluetooth Bulb” utility model patent and “A Bluetooth Panel Light” utility model patent owned by Shenzhen Jiabitai Intelligent Lighting Co., Ltd. and Shenzhen Ants and Soldiers Technology Co., Ltd.

In July 2018, Nitride Semiconductors, the world's leading Japanese UV LED manufacturer, sued another UV LED solution company RayVio and its distributor Digi-Key Corp in Tokyo District Court for infringement of its Japanese patent, involving the manufacture of UV LEDs. The UV-LED products that Digi-Key sells online are manufactured by RayVio Corp. The lawsuit alleges that the two companies infringed Nitrid's Japanese patent JP 3,285,341, entitled "Methods for Manufacturing GaN Compound Semiconductors." Nitride applied to the court for a lock-up order (including the destruction of infringing products) and damages.

On July 25, 2018, LG Innotek filed a lawsuit in the Federal District Court for Northern California and the Central District Court of California, accusing Evergreat of infringing its patented UV LED technology. This is the first time LG Innotek has filed a patent lawsuit against UV LED products.

On July 27, 2018, LED factory Jingdian announced that after the US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals made a second-instance judgment, the Boston University Foundation proposed that patent infringement was invalid, and Jingdian won the case.

On August 2, 2018, Nichia Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. announced that the company had received compensation from Hongqi Technology and ended its infringement dispute over YAG patents in Germany.

On August 6, 2018, Tridonic Jennersdorf GmbH, a subsidiary of Tridonic GmbH, filed a lawsuit against Ingram Micro Distribution GmbH of Germany, accusing it of selling smartphones produced by Taiwan HTC Company in the First District Court of Munich, which was considered to be infringing The patent rights held by the BOSE Alliance.

Behind the increasing number of LED patent litigations, the game is the game of interest in the LED industry. With the LED lighting entering the golden period of development, the global LED large enterprises have all intensified the use of patents to control the market dominance, and the patent warfare will also be in a normal trend. Nowadays, the continuous global expansion of Chinese LED companies has made the patent issue more and more prominent.

What are the countermeasures for Chinese LED companies?

For the LED industry, the core patents of the upper and middle reaches are mainly concentrated in the hands of international giants such as Philips, Osram, Nichia, Toyota Synthetic, Cree, and Seoul Semiconductor. They have always used intellectual property as a weapon and will compete through a well-planned patent network. Opponents are excluded from the market, thus gaining monopoly profits.

As the competition in the LED industry intensifies, patent disputes and litigation during the period are also growing at the same time. For the Chinese LED industry, there is still a certain gap between the patent accumulation and foreign countries, and most patents only stay in derivative patents, which will inevitably suffer from many patent litigations. China has a small voice in LED patents, and it has a long way to go to overcome patent issues.

Faced with more and more industry giants involved in the patent dispute, how Chinese LED companies have to protect themselves has to become a problem for corporate thinking.

1) Patent cross-licensing

In recent years, many domestic companies have recognized the importance of patents and formed a “protective umbrella” through cross-licensing with international giants. Super Times has obtained patent license for crystal electric LED filament; Dongbei Optoelectronics has obtained Osram white LED patent license; Guoxing Optoelectronics, Jufei Optoelectronics, Ruifeng Optoelectronics and other patents with GE; Sui Jing Optoelectronics, Yimeixinguang, Jufei Mainland companies such as Optoelectronics, Ruifeng Optoelectronics and Lingtao Optoelectronics obtained the patent license of Toyota White LED; Jingyuan and Career signed the global LED chip patent cross-licensing agreement. With patent protection, it can promote enterprise innovation and promote the further growth of the LED lighting market, so that enterprises can better serve customers in the rapidly changing lighting field.

The “protective umbrella” formed by LED companies in the cross-licensing of patents with international giants is only an expedient measure. LED technology is still developing and improving, and the technical routes are not the same. Even if some patents expire, new patents will appear and new technical barriers will be formed. Domestic LED companies should strengthen patent early warning, accurately judge market development trends, and improve patent layout.

2) Overseas mergers and acquisitions to obtain patent rights

In addition to cross-licensing patents, the purchase method is also an effective way for LED companies to obtain patents. Through mergers and acquisitions, mastering the global advanced patent technology can effectively reduce the risks and costs of enterprise development, make full use of the experience curve effect, and gain product competitive advantage. The combination of Chinese and Western, and complementary advantages can be more conducive to the development of enterprises.

For example, Mulinsen will acquire OSRAM's sales channels and brand usage rights in 150 countries around the world through the acquisition of OSRAM's LEDVANCE company. This will not only improve the company's profit level, but also open up overseas markets. For example, the acquisition of Purui by Jingjing is equivalent to controlling more than 750 patents and cross-licensing patents with Cree, and mastering many core technologies such as chips, epitaxial wafers, packaging, optical design, white light, etc. , Japan and South Korea and other global high-end LED industry supply chain. In addition, Feile Audio's acquisition of Xiwannian, Konka Lighting and Toshiba Lighting Strategic Cooperation, etc., have to say that patent purchases and overseas mergers and acquisitions can effectively change the unfavorable patent situation of Chinese LED companies.

3) Strengthen patent protection

Regardless of the way in which patents are granted, companies need to fundamentally increase their patented technology. LED technology innovation is blood. For LED companies, by increasing the development of LED lighting new products and technology upgrades, we can grasp the mainstream trend of LEDs to a certain extent, by analyzing the pattern and positioning of LED lighting products, in product design and quality. New breakthroughs have been made in upgrading and cost control.

In addition to giving full play to their own advantages, customer service, and familiarity with the current development of the domestic LED lighting market, LED companies should continue to explore new application areas of LED lighting technology through market-oriented technology research and development, and quickly become the industry. pioneer.

Only continuous technological investment and innovation is the effective weapon for LED lighting companies to “go global”. Enterprises need to fundamentally make their patent technology bigger and stronger, need to strengthen the strength of technological innovation, obtain more patent protection, and then it is possible to break through the patent blockade of international LED giants.

At the same time, Chinese LED companies should strengthen their awareness of intellectual property protection while patent technology innovation, in order to prevent the "patent pirates" robbery. At the legal level, the phenomenon of “patent piracy” is a kind of “legitimate robbery” that is carried out by using the law and counterfeiting behavior prevalent in Chinese enterprises.

Therefore, in the LED field of patent warfare, Chinese LED companies need to strengthen technological innovation, obtain more patent protection, and establish a huge patent umbrella to make enterprises go fast, steady and safe.

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