Nichia Takes Blue Spectrum Infringement Aim at Epistar & Everlight’s “E&E” in Japan

Picking up where we left off last September (ref our coverage
on Nichia/Epistar dispute
) Nichia has now requested a preliminary injunction
order with the Tokyo District Court in Japan against a Japanese company co-owned
by Epistar and Everlight
Electronics Co. Ltd.
, both based in Taiwan. The Japanese entity, which was
originally named Epistar Japan and Everlight Japan, has been shortened to simply
E&E Japan Co. An additional owner or affiliate name that appears listed
on the E&E basic website is VK
Holdings
. (Both those sites appear to have no English version posted.)
The fuss this time involves the claimed infringement by the Taiwanese of a different
Nichia blue spectrum LED patent than those individually filed against Epistar
and Everlight last fall. This one is over JP No 2927279 which is one of Nichia’s
patents related specifically to their white-LED technology, more specifically
to “the obtaining of white color emission by combining a semiconductor
device and a phosphor that is excited by the light emitted from the semiconductor
device
.”

In a company news
statement
posted on the Nichia website
June 21st, Nichia stated it holds patents regarding this technology in many
countries and that it believes that the white LEDs with model numbers 99-215UWC/TR8
and 67-21UWC/S400-A4/TR8 handled by E&E JAPAN infringe upon Nichia’s above
mentioned white LED patent. Nichia further sated that, in 1999, Nichia had a
patent dispute with Everlight Japan regarding Nichia’s patent with JP No. 2900928,
and claimed a preliminary injunction order to cease Everlight Japan from marketing
the infringing products (model Nos. 333uwc, 383uwc, and 204uwc). Nichia says
that this dispute was settled due to that undertaking and that Everlight Japan
thereafter did not further infringement on Nichia’s patent.

According to a press statement
on the Everlight Taiwan site, dated Dec. 10 , 2003, Everlight acknowledged Nichia’s
litigation moves and stated that, “Everlight regrets to learn that Nichia
continues to distribute false statements concerning the preliminary injunction
order on its website after the expiration of the order. In this regard, Everlight
reserves all its rights as against Nichia. Everlight will continue its policy
of respecting the intellectual property rights of others and providing to its
customers products that are free from any infringement of intellectual property
rights.
” At the time of this posting, the Epistar
website
was off line for a considerably long time. An Epistar
profile
can be found on a Taiwanese government site, SPIA. Nichia ended
their statement
once again reiterating that they plan to continue to take appropriate worldwide
actions toward any possible infringing company so as to safeguard its patents
and other intellectual property rights in the future.