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Lumileds claims upper hand in patent battle

Lumileds says that the US International Trade Commission believes that Epistar's metal-bonded LEDs infringe its patents, and that other LED products made by the Taiwanese company could also violate the law.

Philips Lumileds believes that it has won a significant battle in its patent war with rival LED manufacturer Epistar.

The San Jose company says that the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) has decided that it will uphold the ruling of the judge presiding over the case, Sidney Harris, who concluded that Epistar's metal bond I and II products infringe Lumileds' 5,008,718 patent.

The '718 patent, which is entitled "LED with an electrically conductive window", was granted to Lumileds in 1991, and has been at the center of several court battles over the intervening years (see related stories).

The ITC will also reconsider Harris' ruling that Epistar's glue-bonded and omni-directional mirror adhesion LEDs do not infringe the "˜718 patent. The US chipmaker wants these LEDs and products featuring them to also be excluded from the US.

The Commission is expected to announce its final decision on 8 May, and has requested additional briefing over the coming weeks.

After this ruling is released, there is a 60-day period during which any exclusion orders could be vetoed or modified.

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