News Article

Nichia Seeks Injunction Over COTCO LEDs

The Japanese LED manufacturer is continuing legal attempts to turn out the lights on potential patent infringers.

Nichia Corporation has announced that it has filed for a provisional injunction against Sterling Inc., a Tokyo-based gift manufacturer, after negotiations to prevent legal action broke down.

Nichia is intervening over the white LEDs in Sterling's “4505 LED Palm Radio Light&rdquo and other products.

COTCO, now a subsidiary of the US LED manufacturer Cree after its acquisition was completed on April 2, is named by Nichia as the source for the white LEDs used in the device.

However, Nichia confirmed that the offending articles bear the slogan “COTCO LED Technology powered by Cree US Pat 6,600,175".

Both Nichia and Cree hold patents on using phosphors with blue LED chips to manufacture white LEDs.

Nichia is seeking to uphold its Japanese patent, No. 3065263, which uses a blue LED chip with a single wire structure, and a yellow phosphor to down-convert the incident frequency to finally give white light.

The US patent that Nichia names, originally filed by ATMI but owned by Cree after a prior acquisition, also contains claims concerning arrays which use phosphors to down-convert light from a blue LED to white light.

Nichia and Cree have clashed before over this technology, but have since resolved their disputes (see related stories).

The Japanese chip maker signals its intentions by saying that it would continue to “take necessary measure against any companies who infringe Nichia's intellectual property rights in any part of the world.&rdquo

Cree declined to comment on this development.

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