IP, Reports & Roadmaps | Oct 01, 2008

Nichia’s Patent Invalidated, Seoul Semiconductor Celebrates a Convincing Win

Korea Intellectual Property Tribunal (“KIPT”) ruled that a patent, related to LED element, (Patent # KP 491482, hereinafter “’482 patent”) owned by Nichia Corporation (“Nichia) is invalid based on lack of inventiveness. Thus yet another of Nichia’s patents has been invalidated by KIPT, following a ruling in July, 2008 when KIPT invalidated a previous Nichia patent.

Just under a year ago, on October 10, 2007, Nichia brought a patent infringement lawsuit against Seoul based on this patent. In March, 2008, Seoul requested the KIPT to examine the validity of the ’482 patent. After a thorough and extensive examination of the ’482 patent, KIPT determined that the ’482 patent lacks inventive step and therefore declared the patent invalid.

Following the decision from KIPT, a Seoul official commented that “following another invalidation of Nichia’s patents, which were asserted against Seoul, Seoul is in a stronger position and feels confident that we will prevail in all the patent infringement lawsuits pending against Nichia.”

Seoul added that “as a company which respects patent rights, we will continue to sincerely evaluate the valid scope of all patents relating to our products, and where necessary will not hesitate to verify the facts in patent disputes.”

About Seoul Semiconductor:
Seoul Semiconductor, the world’s leading LED manufacturer, has been named in Forbes and Business Week’s lists as one of the most promising Asian companies. Its product, Acriche, was named as "Product of the Year" in 2006 and 2008, 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 genera! l 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 1,720 patents and 280 licenses as of September 2008. Seoul Semiconductor has 25 branches including 3 overseas corporate offices. Its products are also represented worldwide by more than 112 distributors.

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