IP, Reports & Roadmaps | Oct 29, 2007

Seoul High Court in Korea confirms decision from the Patent Court of Korea in favour of SSC

Seoul Semiconductor (KOSDAQ; 046890), the leading LED manufacturer in Korea and the eight largest in the world, today announced that on October 24, 2007, the Seoul High Court in Korea has ruled in favour of Seoul Semiconductor in an appeal on a decision from the Seoul Central District Court to turned down Seoul Semiconductor’s lawsuit against Itswell, a Korea-based LED manufacturer. Seoul Semiconductor lawsuit sought damages for past infringement of its utility patent for producing white LED as well as an injunction against any further infringing activities. The Seoul High Court also ruled on October 24 that Itswell shall pay Seoul Semiconductor damages compensation in the amount of US$1.2 million.

This successful outcome of this lawsuit closely follows the October 11 decision from the Patent Court of Korea to reject lawsuits brought by Itswell and Taiwan-based Advanced Optoelectronic Technology Inc. (AOT) to overturn earlier rulings from the Korean Intellectual Property Tribunal.  The Patent Court of Korea had rejected invalidation actions against Seoul Semiconductor’s utility patent for producing white LED. The Patent Court of Korea’s action was a clear acknowledgement of the novelty and validity of Seoul Semiconductor’s patent.

Similarly, the Seoul High Court’s decision on October 24 represents a significant step towards cementing the position of Seoul Semiconductor’s patent in the LED marketplace. Seoul Semiconductor’s extensive utility patent for producing white LED was first issue in the leading markets such as US, Korea, Japan and Taiwan. In 2005, Seoul Semiconductor filed and won the preliminary injunction for infringement of patent pertaining to its white LED against AOT. AOT has given up appealing the case. AOT and Itswell has responded to infringement injunctions by filing invalidation actions against Seoul Semiconductors white LED patent in the Korean Intellectual Property Tribunal, the Taiwanese Intellectual Property Tribunal and the Patent Court of Korea. Invalidation actions brought by AOT and Itswell have all been turned down.

Seoul Semiconductor has overturned all invalidation actions and won the lawsuit seeking damages for past infringement and injunctions against any further infringing activity on its white LED patents. These winnings clearly illustrate the novelty and validity of Seoul Semiconductors white LED patent, and cements Seoul Semiconductors leadership position as an innovator of LED lighting technology in the world. 

About Seoul Semiconductor:
Seoul Semiconductor is the largest LED lighting solutions manufacturer in Korea, and eighth-largest in the world according to Strategies Unlimited. Seoul Semiconductor has been named to Forbes' and Business Week's lists as one of the most promising Asian companies. Its product, Acriche was recently 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$200 million in sales in 2006. It has 1,251 patents and 100 licenses as of June 30, 2007. Seoul Semico ductor has 18 branches including 3 overseas corporate offices. Its products are also represented worldwide by more than 90 distributors.

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