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Electronics Production | May 25, 2006

OSRAM filed action against Kingbright

OSRAM Opto Semiconductors files action for patent infringement against Kingbright.
Based on its conviction that Kingbright is infringing fundamental patent rights, OSRAM Opto Semiconductors has filed action against the Taiwanese LED manufacturer Kingbright Electronic Co., Taipei, LTD. at Dusseldorf Regional Court (Germany) and its German subsidiary Kingbright Europe GmbH. With this move, OSRAM intends to enforce its intellectual property rights for the manufacture of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).

In its suit, OSRAM stresses that Kingbright has infringed and is still infringing its patents by importing, selling and offering certain white and surface mountable Light Emitting Diodes (LED) in Germany. OSRAM intends to obtain a restraining order and is applying for compensation. As part of the suit, Kingbright shall also be prevented from importing numerous LEDs and Kingbright products containing these LEDs to Germany. Action was similarly taken against a distributor D. Schuricht GmbH & Co. KG, Bremen, who is selling such Kingbright`s LEDs in Germany.

One group of products concerned in the legal action are white LEDs featuring conversion technology which has been protected by OSRAM. Typical applications include, for instance, display backlighting for mobile telephones and car radios. This technology was developed by the staff of OSRAM Opto Semiconductors in the mid to late 1990s. It permits the production of white LEDs with blue-emitting InGaN (indium gallium nitride) chips by using a suitable phosphor converter. The company was one of the first manufacturers to launch the white single-chip LED on the market.
Another group of patents covers technologies for the electrical connection structure and design of housings used in many LEDs, especially for surface mounting technology. These LEDs are often used in automobile lighting applications, including interior lighting as well as rear combination light systems.

Similar patent law suits were brought against other LED manufacturers like Dominant in the U.S. and Germany. OSRAM plans to continue to take appropriate worldwide actions towards other LED manufacturers to safeguard its intellectual property rights.

"Our objective in taking legal action against Kingbright is to prevent unauthorised use of our technology," stated Dr. Rüdiger Müller, CEO of OSRAM Opto Semiconductors. Kingbright has already taken licences from other players in the LED market like the US based company Intematix. This shows that taking a license from those companies does not automatically avoid infringement of OSRAM patents.

"We hold a considerable number of intellectual property rights which were acquired over the course of many years of intensive research and development work," explained Müller.

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