IP, Reports & Roadmaps | May 21, 2008

Judge Chesney Denies Fees for "Side View LED Design Patent Infringement" to Nichia

In the side view LED design patent infringement litigation between Seoul Semiconductor Co. Ltd. (“Seoul”) and Nichia Corporation (“Nichia”), Judge Chesney of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued an "Order Denying Plaintiff's [Nichia's] Motion for Finding of Exceptional Case and Award Attorney's Fees." By the motion, Nichia sought approximately $2.5 million in fees against Seoul. In her order, Judge Chesney ruled that it "would not be appropriate" to award fees to Nichia and that the case was not exceptional.

In denying the motion, Judge Chesney found that Nichia's decision to pursue this suit against Seoul "imposed a significant burden on the jurors' time and the court's resources, not to mention the burden on defendants [Seoul]."

Judge Cheney also noted that she had previously dismissed Nichia’s “only claim of real substance” when she granted Seoul’s motion for summary judgment on Nichia’s claim of induced infringement.

Judge Chesney stated that “to the extent plaintiff [Nichia], in seeking a jury verdict …, may have been attempting to obtain some unstated ancillary advantage over defendants in Asia, plaintiff [Nichia] fails to explain why its use of the United States federal court system for a purpose having nothing of real substance to do with the United States is justified, let alone that such endeavor should be underwritten by the defendants."

About Seoul Semiconductor:
Seoul Semiconductor, the world’s leading LED manufacturer, has been named to Forbes and BusinessWeek’s lists as one of the most promising Asian companies. Its product, Acriche, was named as "Product of the Year 2006" by Elektronik, one of the most prestigious electronics magazines in Europe. Seoul Semiconductor’s primary business areas are LED packaging and custom module manufacturing. It provides a full range of LED products including AC-driven semiconductor light source, Acriche, High-brightness Power, Side View, Top, Chip, Lamp and High Flux LEDs, and custom type modules. Applications for the company’s LED products include general lighting, signage, back lighting for mobile phones, TVs, notebook computers, automotive lighting, home appliances, signals, etc. Seoul Semiconductor reported US$290 million in sales in 2007. It has 1,443 patents and 264 licenses as of December 2007. Seoul Semiconductor has 25 branches including 3 overseas corporate offices. Its products are also represented worldwide by more than 90 distributors.

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