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Sony, Sanyo, Exceed, Lucky Light settle LED suit

Posted: 29 May 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:LED? Sony Sanyo?

Four consumer electronics companies including Sony Corp. and Sanyo Electric Co Ltd, Exceed Perseverance Electronic Ind. Co Ltd and Lucky Light Electronics Co Ltd, have agreed to license patents owned by a Columbia University Professor that cover basic semiconductor technology used in Blu-ray video players as well as mobile phones, digital cameras and other devices, Dreier LLP announced. Details of the agreements were not released.

The agreements are the latest settlements reached in an LED and laser diode patent case against 31 companies that was brought before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) by Professor Emerita Gertrude Neumark Rothschild.

Earlier this year, South Korea's Seoul Semiconductor Co Ltd, and Taiwan's Everlight Electronics Co Ltd signed agreements with Professor Rothschild, who conducted research in the 1980s and 1990s into LEDs and laser diodes crucial to a host of today's consumer electronics products.

"These latest licensing agreements are important milestones in this case. Professor Rothschild is very pleased that both Sony and Sanyo, and other major electronics makers have recognized her major scientific contributions to LED and LD technology," stated Albert Jacobs, Jr., Dreier LLP intellectual property partner.

The ITC agreed in March to hear Professor Rothschild's complaint. Of the 31 companies named in the action, Sony, Sanyo, Exceed, Lucky Light and Everlight have since agreed to license her patents for LEDs and laser diodes.

Other companies named in the suit include Hitachi Ltd, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co, LG Electronics Inc., Nokia Corp., Samsung Group, Sharp Corp. Sony Ericsson Mobile and Toshiba Corp.

Professor 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 bandgap semiconductors that has proven pivotal in the development of short-wavelength LEDs (blue, green, violet and ultraviolet) and laser 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 bandgap semiconductors for LEDs and laser diodes in the blue, green, violet and ultraviolet end of the spectrum.

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