IP, Reports & Roadmaps | Nov 12, 2007

Northern District of California jury affirmed Seoul Semiconductor’s infringement of Nichia patents

Nichia Corporation announced today that the jury unanimously rendered a verdict that found the infringement of Nichia’s design patents in the infringement lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California brought by Nichia Corporation (“Nichia”) against Seoul Semiconductor, Ltd. and Seoul Semiconductor, Inc.(verdict form)

After determining that the Seoul Semiconductor’s 902 series side-view LEDs, which were being offered for sale and sold in the U.S., were infringing upon Nichia’s U.S. design patents (U.S. patent Nos. D491,538, D490,784, D499,385 and D503,388), Nichia filed this infringement action in January 2006, seeking injunction of such infringing activities and demanding compensation for damages (Nichia’s Press Release in January, 2006). The jury agreed with Nichia that Seoul Semiconductor committed infringement, and also found that Seoul’s infringement was willful in that Seoul Semiconductor actually knew, or it was so obvious that Seoul should have known, that its actions constituted infringement of a valid and enforceable patent.

Seoul Semiconductor’s infringing 902 series LEDs are mostly used for LCD (liquid-crystal displays) backlight units in consumer products such as cellular phones. The verdict means that any consumer product distributed in the US, which incorporates Seoul's 902 LED, will be containing a patent infringing product.

Welcoming the verdict, Nichia is confident that other courts in Korea, the U.S. and Japan that are currently dealing with the disputes between Nichia and Seoul Semiconductor will also uphold Nichia’s intellectual property rights and recognize Seoul Semiconductor’s infringement.

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