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Epistar-Philips Lumileds patent battle escalates

Posted: 19 Oct 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:LED? infringed patent? US ITC?

Epistar Corp. has accused Philips Lumileds of unfair competition, stating that Philips Lumileds has been misleading existing and potential customers into believing that many of Epistar's LEDs were also affected by the limited exclusion ordered entered by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Early this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has denied Epistar's request to stay enforcement of the ITC's limited exclusion order prohibiting importation of the Taiwan-based company's OMA, MB, and GB products into the country. These products are said to have infringed LED patents held by Philips Lumileds. Epistar has filed a complaint against Phillips Lumileds' misleading information.

In its complaint, Epistar noted that Philips Lumileds falsely suggested that Epistar is barred from importing any of its advanced AlGaInP products into the U.S. and that the six products at issue infringe two patents they were expressly found not to infringe. Epistar also stressed that the Customs and Border Patrol has earlier indicated that Epistar's new Phoenix and Aquarius lines of LEDs are not within the scope of the order.

In addition, the complaint also addresses other conduct of Philips Lumileds related to the ITC proceeding. According to Epistar, several years ago, it has settled a dispute with Philips Lumileds over whether certain Epistar OMA products infringed one of Lumileds' patents, the '718 patent. As part of the settlement, Epistar claims Philips Lumileds agreed not to sue Epistar for infringement of the '718 patent based on those OMA products and granted a license to Epistar under the patent to make, sell, use, offer to sell and import AlGaInP absorbing-substrate LEDs. During the course of that investigation, however, Philips Lumileds alleged that Epistar's OMA products infringed the '718 patent. Epistar's complaint explains that the assertion of the '718 patent against Epistar's OMA LED products was a violation of the terms of the settlement agreement.

Epistar seeks an injunction against Philips Lumileds to prevent further irreparable harm, as well as compensatory and exemplary damages to redress and deter the ongoing injury to Epistar being caused by the alleged illegal practices.

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