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Ban reinstated in Lumileds-Epistar dispute

The US ban on imports of Epistar's omni-directional mirror adhesion, metal and glue bonded LEDs is restored.

California-based LED manufacturer Philips Lumileds has gained the upper hand in its long-running court battle with rival Epistar thanks to a ruling that prevents the Taiwanese company's imports to the US.

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) has removed its temporary freeze on the US International Trade Commission's (ITC) decision to prohibit the import of Epistar's omni-directional mirror adhesion (OMA), metal-bonded (MB) and glue-bonded (GB) products.

However, Epistar says that the US Customs and Border protection has ruled that its Phoenix and Aquarius AlGaInP LEDs are not subject to the import ban.

Lumileds does not agree with this claim, and said in a statement: "Discussions with US Customs have confirmed that the agency has issued no such order, and has neither cleared the Phoenix or Aquarius LEDs for importation nor found that they do not infringe Philips Lumileds 718 patent."

According to Lumileds, the exclusion order prohibits importation of Epistar's OMA I, OMA II, MB I, MB II, GB I and GB II LEDs; any other products infringing its US patent 5,000,718; packaged LEDs containing Epistar's infringing LEDs; and boards consisting primarily of such packaged LEDs.

"Companies that use, import, or sell these unlicensed infringing products, even unknowingly, are direct infringers of Philips Lumileds' patent and subject to the exclusion order", said the US company in a statement.

Epistar is still attempting to overturn the decision and has lodged an appeal with the CAFC.

"Epistar has always maintained that the ITC decision was incorrect, both factually and legally," said Epistar president B.J. Lee.

"We look forward to the opportunity to present our case to the US appeals court."

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