LED firm wins in patent battle against Japan rival


TAIPEI–Everlight Electronics Co. Ltd., a Taiwan-based light emitting diode (LED) product supplier, said Friday it has won an administrative suit that it believes will give it an edge in other patent proceedings against Nichia Corp. of Japan. Taiwan’s Supreme Administrative Court upheld a High Administrative Court verdict which ruled that a patent asserted by Nichia related to LED component production technology was invalid, according to Everlight. According to Everlight, the court agreed with its contention that Nichia was not the inventor of the patent and that Everlight had the right to apply the technology covered by the patent to its production process.

Everlight, whose production line includes LED components, LED lighting, and testing and packaging services, said the Intellectual Property Office of the Ministry of Economic Affairs is expected to revoke the particular patent it has granted to Nichia. The company initiated the patent invalidation process in 2009, arguing that the use of the disputed patent did not violate Nichia’s intellectual property rights. Everlight’s move came after Nichia followed a civil suit against Everlight in 2006 for patent infringement. That case remains in the court system, and Everlight said the Supreme Administrative Court’s patent invalidation ruling would help it gain the upper hand in the litigation. To date, Everlight has launched 21 different legal actions worldwide to have patents asserted by Nichia declared invalid. Facing a global intellectual property battle that has turned fiercer than ever, the company said it had made a huge commitment to research and development to enrich its patent portfolio, which has now grown to more than 700 patents.