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Toyoda Settles Patent Row With Columbia Prof

A year after filing a lawsuit over patent infringement against LED maker Toyoda Gosei, Columbia professor Gertrude Neumark accepts an out-of-court settlement.

Columbia University professor Gertrude Neumark and LED manufacturer Toyoda Gosei have ended a patent infringement lawsuit through an out-of-court settlement.

The academic, who launched her claim against the Japanese company and its North American subsidiary just over one year ago, alleged that two of her US patents on wide-bandgap semiconductor technology had been infringed.

According to Neumark's lawyers at Sidley Austin, the professor has now granted rights allowing Toyoda Gosei to either manufacture, import or sell LEDs and laser diodes based on the methods outlined in US patent numbers 4,904,618 and 5,252,499.

Although Toyoda's LEDs are generally based on III-nitride material, the two patents in question are focused mainly on II-VI components such as ZnSe or ZnTe.

Toyoda had previously rubbished the professor's claims, saying that Neumark's patents were invalid, and that her demands were "beyond common sense".

Peter Toren from Sidley Austin said that the terms of the settlement were confidential. He added that although the Toyoda case was now closed, Neumark has launched similar claims against Cree, Lumileds and Osram.

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