Seoul Semiconductor reaps final win over patent lawsuit against Japanese firm in US

2019.11.22 13:15:05 | 2019.11.22 13:15:29

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South Korea’s light-emitting diode (LED) manufacturer Seoul Semiconductor Co. triumphed in a six-year-long legal battle against Japanese display materials maker Enplas Display Device Corp. in the United States, the company announced Thursday.

Seoul Semiconductor said the U.S. Federal Circuit dismissed Enplas’ appeal and affirmed the jury verdict on Enplas’ induced infringement on Seoul Semiconductor’s patents.

The legal battle began at the end of 2012 after Seoul Semiconductor found Enplas violated its patents regarding manufacturing of optical lens for LED backlight unit system and LDC displays. In April 2016, the U.S. federal court in California ruled in favor of Seoul Semiconductor, saying that Enplas intentionally infringed on Seoul Semiconductor’s patents and the patents are valid. The Japanese firm immediately filed an appeal with an upper court but the Federal Circuit rejected the appeal and found the patents infringed and valid.

The LED backlighting technology allows light from a device to spread evenly across the display to raise resolution. The company has made significant research and development efforts to obtain the technology. It secured the license to develop the lens after vising the U.S. defense company Teledyne Technologies three times and hired David Pelka who invented the technology as an adviser for the company.

In 2013, Seoul Semiconductor notified Enplas by letter that the Japanese company infringed the patent already registered by the Korean company. Enplas claimed that it independently developed the technologies for LED TV backlights, selling their products based on its own technologies to TV manufacturers.

Seoul Semiconductor is the world’s second largest LED manufacturer and holds more than 14,000 patents on related technologies. It produces LEDs for various industries including automotive, general illumination and tech sectors.

By Choi Hee-seok and Choi Mira

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