Philips Targets PixelRange with Multiple Multicolor LED Patents

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Koninklijke Philips Electronics and Philips Solid State Lighting Solutions (collectively “Philips”) sued Pixelrange and UK lighting company James Thomas Engineering last month, accusing the defendants of infringing six patents relating to LED systems. 

The complaint (philips_dmass_complaint.pdf), filed in Massachusetts district court, lists U.S. Patent Nos. 6,250,774 (‘250,774 Patent), 6,016,038 (‘038 Patent), 6,150,774 (‘150,774 Patent), 6,806,659 (‘659 Patent), 6,788,011 (‘011 Patent) and 6,975,079 (‘079 Patent) and alleges that the PixelLine Micro W product (shown above) infringes the asserted patents.

The ‘250,774 patent is entitled “Luminaire” and is directed to an LED package for street lighting that uses the generated light more efficiently. 

According to the patent, a major disadvantage of some existing luminaires is that the light doesn’t concentrate well into a beam and therefore a substantial percentage of the light projects outside the area or object to be illuminated.

The patented technology solves this problem and reduces energy use by focusing the individual beams of multiple LED lighting units such that each narrow beam only hits a portion of the area or object. 

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The claimed luminaire (1) (shown above) has a housing (10), a light emission window (11) and a set of lighting units (20), each having at least one LED chip (30) and an optical system (40), with the lighting units illuminating respective portions of an object.

The ‘038, ‘150,774, ‘659 and ‘011 Patents comprise a chain of related patents entitled “Multicolored LED lighting method and apparatus” and are directed to computer controlled multicolored LED networks. 

According to these patents, the inventions overcome some of the problems associated with integrating multiple LEDs of different colors, intensity levels and power ratings.

These patents describe a pulse width modulated current control where each lighting unit is uniquely addressable via a controller and capable of receiving illumination color information on a computer lighting network.  

Multiple integrated circuits at respective nodes are operatively connected to a light module (100) with LED sets (120, 140, 160), which each contain a series or parallel array of LEDs of various colors.

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The ‘079 Patent, entitled “Systems and mehtods for controlling illumination sources,” relates to methods of providing control signals for LED lighting systems to control light output.  The methods can take into account the response of a viewer to different light output levels and convert data inputs to output control signals that adjust the light output levels accordingly.

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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.