IP, Reports & Roadmaps | Sep 06, 2006

Cree files lawsuit against bridgeLux for patent infringement

DURHAM, NC, Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE), a leader in LED solid-state lighting components, today announced that it has filed suit against BridgeLux, Inc. (formerly eLite Optoelectronics) for infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,657,236 (“the ‘236 patent”) and 5,686,738 (“the ‘738 patent”).

The suit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief to prohibit BridgeLux from infringing these patents.Cree’s ‘236 patent, entitled “Enhanced Light Extraction in LEDs through the Use of Internal and External Optical Elements,” relates to light extraction structures used in LEDs. The ‘738 patent, entitled “Highly Insulating Monocrystalline Gallium Nitride Thin Films,” relates to semiconductor devices manufactured using a gallium nitride-based buffer technology. The ‘738 patent is owned by the Trustees of Boston University and licensed to Cree on an exclusive basis. Boston University is a co-plaintiff in the suit. The ‘738 patent was also the subject of two prior suits brought by Cree and Boston University against Nichia Corporation and AXT, Inc., both of which resulted in settlements. “Cree’s leadership in LED technology is the result of significant investment in R&D and our patent portfolio over the last nineteen years. The filing of this suit demonstrates Cree's willingness to protect our R&D investments and patent rights, especially at a time when some segments of the LED marketplace act as if there are no issues with intellectual property,” stated Cree chairman and CEO Charles Swoboda.
About Cree, Inc.
Cree is a market-leading innovator and manufacturer of semiconductors and devices that enhance the value of solid-state lighting, power and communications products by significantly increasing their energy performance and efficiency. Key to Cree’s market advantage is its world-class materials expertise in silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) for chips and packaged devices that can handle more power in a smaller space while producing less heat than other available technologies, materials and products.

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