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Seoul Semi, Everlight settle patent suit with Columbia U prof

Posted: 24 Apr 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:patent suit? LED? laser diode? consumer electronics?

LED maker Seoul Semiconductor Co. Ltd and Taiwan's Everlight Electronics Co. Ltd have signed settlement agreements in a patent case brought before the U.S. International Trade Commission by Gertrude Neumark Rothschild, a Columbia University professor emerita.

Dreier LLP intellectual property attorneys Albert Jacobs and Daniel Ladow are representing Rothschild in the suit.

"The licensing agreements with Seoul Semiconductor and Everlight are an important step forward in this case since more companies are recognizing Professor Rothschild's seminal breakthroughs in the production of the blue, green, violet and ultraviolet LEDs and laser diodes that are essential to a host of consumer products," Jacobs stated.

The ITC is hearing the case filed by Rothschild, seeking to block the importation of a wide array of consumer electronics products manufactured by 31 companies that infringe her patent for LEDs and laser diodes, including video players using Sony's Blu-ray format, Motorola Razr phones and Hitachi camcorders.

The action alleges that major electronics manufacturers in Asia and Europe have violated her patent for producing LEDs and laser diodes in a wide variety of consumer products. The companies named in the suit include Hitachi Ltd, LG Electronics Inc., Motorola Inc., Nokia, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, Sanyo Electric Co., Sharp Co., Sony Corp., Sony Ericsson Mobile and Toshiba Corp.

Rothschild, who is the sole owner of the patent, conducted research in the 1980s and 1990s into the electrical and optical properties of so-called wide band-gap semiconductors that has proven pivotal in the development of short-wavelength emitting (blue, green, violet and ultraviolet) semiconductor diodes that are now widely used in consumer electronics.

She was issued a U.S. patent in 1993 that covers a method of producing wide band-gap semiconductors for LEDs in the blue, green, violet and ultraviolet end of the spectrum. Such LEDs and laser diodes have become increasingly popular in a variety of devices as a superior lighting source because of their reduced power consumption, greater reliability, longevity and, in the case of laser diodes, their ability to hold a vast amount of data in a compact space. The total market for these types of semiconductors has been forecast at $7.2 billion for 2009.

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