Philips Withdraws ITC Case as LED Patent Term Wanes

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In a previous post, I discussed a patent infringement action in the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) between Philips Lumileds Lighting Co. (Philips) and Taiwanese LED maker Epistar Corp. (Epistar) involving U.S. Patent No. 5,008,718 (‘718 Patent). 

In that case, Philips alleged that Epistar and United Epitaxy Company (UEC) infringed the ‘718 Patent by selling certain AlGaInP LEDs.  The ‘718 Patent is directed to an LED with a transparent window layer on top of the active semiconductor layers.

That post reported on a Federal Circuit decision reversing both an ITC limited exclusion order excluding Epistar’s LEDs from entry into the U.S. and an ITC ruling that Epistar couldn’t challenge the validity of the ‘718 Patent.  

Philips recently  to withdraw its complaint and terminate the investigation because the ‘718 patent would expire on December 18, 2009, before the ITC could conduct further proceedings in the case.

An ITC administrative law judge (ALJ) , and earlier this month the ITC issued a  of its determination not to review the ALJ’s decision to terminate the investigation.

Though the ITC case is over, a lawsuit between Philips and Epistar in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California remains pending, and Philips noted in its motion that it is not waiving any of its rights in that suit. 

Eric Lane Avatar

Eric Lane

Eric Lane, the founder and principal of Green Patent Law, is an intellectual property lawyer and registered U.S. patent attorney in New York and is a member of the bar in New York and California. Eric has more than two decades of experience working with wind, solar PV, CSP, biofuels, and geothermal, energy storage technologies, carbon capture and sequestration, medical devices, data communications, mechanical, chemical, internet and software.