Everlight sues Nichia in US on patent quarrel

April 25, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
LED manufacturer Everlight Electronics this week filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Nichia Corp. in the United States. The lawsuit seeks to enjoin Nichia from manufacturing, using, importing, offering for sale, or selling products which Everlight believes they are infringing in the US. The lawsuit also seeks monetary damages.

Everlight is also asking the U.S. Court to declare two Nichia patents invalid, unenforceable and improperly issued by the U.S. Patent Office. Everlight said the legal action is part of its effort to enforce its intellectual property rights and to protect its products and its customers from litigation attacks by Nichia. Everlight and Nichia are both major competitors in the LED manufacturing industry. 

In its complaint, Everlight is seeking enforcement of a patent covering LED metallization technology, U.S. Patent No. 6,653,215. Everlight claims it is the exclusive U.S. licensee of this patent, which is owned by Emcore Corporation. Everlight and Emcore are jointly bringing this action. 

Uses for Nichia's LEDs being sold in the U.S. that are alleged to infringe on the '215 patent include residential lighting products, street lights and spotlights. 

Everlight is also asking the U.S. Court to declare that Nichia's U.S. Patent Nos. 5,998,925 and 7,531,960 are invalid, unenforceable and improperly issued by the U.S. Patent Office and that Everlight's LED products do not infringe on those patents. Those patents cover the use of certain types of phosphors in making white-light LEDs.