IP, Reports & Roadmaps | Aug 27, 2008

Korean Court Finds Seoul Semiconductor Liable for Defamation

Nichia Corporation announced today that the Seoul Central District Court rendered a decision that Seoul Semiconductor Co., Ltd. is liable for defamation, and ordered Seoul Semiconductor to pay Nichia a damages amount of KRW 10,000,000, as well as take appropriate corrective measures to restore Nichia’s reputation.

The Korean lawsuit was over Seoul Semiconductor’s statements, which it had posted on its websites and distributed to the media after a jury verdict against Seoul Semiconductor in a U.S. patent infringement litigation that Nichia had brought against Seoul Semiconductor.  Despite the jury’s finding that Seoul Semiconductor had willfully infringed four design patents owned by Nichia, Seoul Semiconductor disseminated the statements that “Seoul Semiconductor has substantially prevailed in the litigation” and that the products at issue are “actually non-infringing”.  Seoul Semiconductor began to disseminate the statements the day after the jury verdict in the U.S.

“We are pleased that the Korean Court rendered a fair judgment against such clearly false statements.” said Katsuyuki Akutagawa, the Chief Legal and IP Officer of Nichia Corporation.

In January 2006, Nichia had filed the design patent infringement action against Seoul Semiconductor in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The jury verdict was rendered on November 8, 2008, finding Seoul Semiconductor’s willful infringement of four design patents of Nichia Corporation, as well as finding that the four design patents were “valid.” The Final Judgment by the Court affirming the jury verdict was entered on February 7, 2008.

Nichia filed the Korean lawsuit on December 28, 2007, alleging that Seoul Semiconductor had damaged Nichia’s reputation by distributing false statements to the press in connection with the jury verdict.

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