Cleantech In Court: Green Patent Complaint Update

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A number of green patent complaints have been filed in the last several weeks in the areas of biofuels, compressed air turbines, and LEDs.

Biofuels

Neste Oil, OYJ v. Dynamic Fuel, LLC et al.

Filed on December 20, 2012 in the District of Delaware, Neste Oil’s complaint alleges direct and induced infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8,212,094 (’094 Patent).

The ’094 Patent is entitled “Process for the manufacture of diesel range hydrocarbons.” The patent relates to a process for the manufacture of diesel range hydrocarbons from a biological feedstock where the feed is hydrotreated and isomerized.

Dynamic Fuels is a joint venture of Syntroleum and Tyson Foods that operates refineries capable of producing allegedly infringing synthetic renewable diesel fuels.

This is the second patent infringement suit Neste has filed against Dynamic Fuels in the past year (see coverage of the first one here).

Compressed Air Turbines

PowerPHASE, LLC v. Nakhamkin, et al.

Filed December 11, 2012 in the Southern District of Florida, PowerPHASE’s complaint seeks a declaration of non-infringement of two of Nakhamkin’s patents, both relating to combustion turbine power plants using compressed air to help the turbines operate at maximum power.

According to the complaint, Nakhamkin accused PowerPHASE of infringing his patents through its ABI and TurboPHASE technologies.

The patents-in-suit are U.S. Patent No. 5,934,063, entitled “Method of operating a combustion turbine power plant having compressed air storage,” and U.S. Patent No. 6,305,158, entitled “Combustion turbine power plant operable at full power using supplemental compressed air.”

LEDs

Kadence Designs LLC v. Osram Sylvania, Inc. et al.

Kadence Designs recently sued Osram Sylvania and Artison LLC for infringement of three patents. The complaint was filed in the District Court of Nevada on Dec 13, 2012.

All three of the assered patents involve a combination of lights (two of the patents involving LEDs) and sound speakers. The asserted patents are U.S. Patent No. 7,535,341, entitled “Combination speaker / light fixture,” U.S. Patent No. 7,817,016, entitled “Screw-in LED light and sound bulb,” and U.S. Patent No. 8,299,903, entitled “Screw-in LED light and sound bulb.”

The accused products are light speaker products sold by Sylvania.

Lexington Luminance, LLC v. Amazon.com, Inc. et al.

Lexington Luminance, LLC v. Google, Inc.

Lexington filed two suits (Lexington-Amazon Complaint; Lexington-Google Complaint) on November 29, 2012 in the District of Massachusetts alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,936,851 (’851 Patent). The defendants are Amazon and Google.

The ’851 Patent is entitled “Semiconductor light-emitting device and method for manufacturing same” and is directed to an LED comprising a plurality of textured district defined on the surface of the substrate, which reduce defect density and are useful in the fabrication of semiconductor light emitting devices in misfit systems.

The accused products are e-reader devices and tablet computers.

Trustees of Boston University v. Epistar Corp. et al.

Trustees of Boston University v. Lite-On, Inc. et al.

A previous update reported on Boston University’s suits against Everlight Electronics and Seoul Semiconductor.

In an expansion of its patent enforcement activity, Boston University has again asserted U.S. Patent No. 5,686,738 (’738 Patent), this time against Epistar and Lite-On. The complaints (BU-Epistar Complaint; BU-Lite-On Complaint) were filed December 14, 2012 in the District of Massachusetts.

The ’738 Patent is entitled “Highly insulated monocrystalline gallium nitride thin films” and is directed to gallium nitride semiconductor devices and methods of preparing highly insulating GaN single crystal films in a molecular beam epitaxial growth chamber.

The accused products include LEDs containing a gallium nitride thin film semiconductor.

Light Transformation Technologies, LLC v. Lighting Science Group Corp. et al.

Light Transformation Technologies, LLC v. General Electric Co. et al.

Light Transformation Technologies (“LTT”) recently filed two separate complaints (LTT – LSG Complaint; LTT – GE Complaint) on December 28, 2012 in the Eastern District of Texas against a number of defendants, including Lighting Science Group, Home Depot, General Electric (and its affiliates), and Wal-Mart. The complaints allege infringement of three patents held by LTT.

The patents-in-suit are:

U.S. Patent No. 8,220,959, entitled “Highly efficient luminaire having optical transformer providing precalculated angular intensity distribution and method therefore”;

U.S. Patent No. 6,951,418, entitled “Highly efficient luminaire having optical transformer providing precalculated angular intensity distribution and method therefore”;

U.S. Patent No. 6,543,911, entitled “Highly efficient luminaire having optical transformer providing precalculated angular intensity distribution and method therefore.”

The accused products include LED light bulbs for home use.

GE Lighting Solutions, LLC v. Technical Consumer Products, Inc.

GE Lighting Solutions, LLC v. Lighting Science Group Corp.

GE Lighting Solutions, LLC v. Lights of America, Inc.

GE Lighting Solutions, LLC v. CRS Electronics, Inc.

GE Lighting Solutions, LLC v. Feit Electric Company, Inc.

GE Lighting Solutions, LLC v. MSI, LLC

On December 28, 2012, GE Lighting Solutions filed six separate complaints in the Northern District of Ohio against various defendants alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,787,999 (’999 Patent) and U.S. Patent No. 6,799,864 (’864 Patent).

The ’999 Patent is entitled “LED-based modular lamp” and directed to a lamp with a plurality of LEDs for emitting light of three different colors and a heat sink thermally coupled to the LEDs.

The ’864 Patent is entitled “High power LED power pack for spot module illumination” and directed to a light emitting diode assembly including a generally planar front side light emitting diode array, and a rear side that is in thermal communication with a thermally conductive spreader.

The accused products include LED lamps.

Article by Wyatt Glynn, an associate at McKenna Long & Aldridge in their San Diego, Downtown office. He received his J.D. from the University of California – Berkeley, where he was the Senior Executive Editor of the Berkeley Technology Law Journal. Article appearing courtesy Green Patent Blog.

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.