ITC Terminates Investigation as Samsung and Osram Settle Global LED Patent War

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In previous posts here and here, I discussed the major LED patent war between Samsung and Osram in various fora around the world including the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).

Recently, the two companies reached a settlement, and the ITC terminated its investigation. Although the details of the agreement are confidential, the parties’ motion to terminate indicated the settlement is global in scope:

The binding agreement executed by Samsung and OSRAM resolves the disputes between the parties in this Investigation (and other legal proceedings throughout the world between Samsung and OSRAM involving LED technology).

In addition to the ITC investigation, the rivals had been engaged in lawsuits in Delaware federal court as well as courts in Germany and Korea.

The patents asserted by Osram numbered up to a dozen and included at least two patent families.

The first family of patents is entitled “Light-radiating semiconductor component with a luminescence conversion element” and relates to technologies for converting blue light to white light. This family includes U.S. Patents Nos. 6,812,500, 7,078,732, 7,126,162, 7,151,283, 7,345,317 and 7,629,621. Another patent family included U.S. Patents Nos. 6,459,130, 6,927,469 and 7,199,454, entitled “Optoelectronic semiconductor component.”

Samsung asserted eight patents, six relating to LED structure and two concerning methods of making LEDs:

U.S. Patents Nos. 7,268,372 and 7,893,443, entitled, respectively, ”Vertical GaN light emitting diode and method of manufacturing the same” and “Nitride based semiconductor light-emitting device” and directed to gallium nitride LEDs having particular layered structures;

U.S. Patent No. 7,282,741 (’741 Patent), entitled “Vertical type nitride semiconductor light emitting diode” and directed to a vertical type nitride LED wherein an n-side electrode comprises a bonding pad formed adjacent to an edge of an upper surface of the n-type nitride semiconductor layer;

U.S. Patent No. 7,959,312, entitled “White light emitting device and white light source module using the same” and directed to white LEDs having a blue LED chip with red and green phosphors disposed around it that emit light having certain color coordinates;

U.S. Patent No. 7,964,881, entitled “Semiconductor light emitting device, method of manufacturing the same, and semiconductor light emitting package using the same” and directed to an LED having an electrode layer with an area exposed by a contact hole formed through a first conductivity type semiconductor layer;

U.S. Patent No. 7,771,081, entitled “LED package and backlight unit using the same” and directed to an LED package having a simplified lens shape with an increased beam angle; and

U.S. Patents Nos. 6,551,848 and 7,838,315, relating to methods of manufacturing LEDs and vertical LEDs, respectively.

The Osram accused devices included its TOPLED, Dragon Family, and OSLON lines of products.

Eric Lane is a patent attorney at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP in San Diego and the author of Green Patent Blog. Mr. Lane can be reached at elane@mckennalong.com

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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