There have been a number of green patent complaints filed recently in such technology areas asÂ compact fluorescent lamps, LEDs, and battery chargers.
Compact Fluorescent Reflector Lamps
In the Matter of: Certain Compact Fluorescent Reflector Lamps and Products and Components Containing Same
On January 28, 2013, Andrzej Bobel and Neptun Light (Complainants) filed aÂ complaintÂ with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) requesting an investigation of Maxlite, Technical Consumer Products, Satco Products, and Litetronics International (Respondents) for the alleged infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,053,540Â (‘540 Patent).
The ‘540 Patent is entitled “Energy efficient compact fluorescent reflector lamp” and directed toÂ a reflector lamp which makes use of a fluorescent bulb, rather than an incandescent bulb, to improve the energy efficiency and service life of the bulb and allow for a wider array of color temperatures of emitted light.Â The disclosed lampÂ is “directly compatible with incandescent and halogen PAR lamps” and “used in the same type [of] light fixtures as incandescent” lamps.
Complainants allege that Respondents are engaged in the importation and sale of reflectorÂ compact fluorescent lightsÂ that infringe the â€˜540 Patent.Â Complainants are seeking a permanent limited exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order regarding the importation and sale of the infringing products.
Whelen Engineering Co., Inc. v. Able 2 Products Co.
On January 23, 2013, Whelen brought suitÂ against Able in the District of Connecticut for the alleged infringement of its patent and corresponding trademark concerning an LED light display.
The patent at issue, U.S. Patent No. 6,641,284 (â€˜284 patent), is entitled â€œLED Light Assemblyâ€ and discloses a linear array of LEDs within a linear parabolic reflector that allows for the production of uniform, directional light beams.Â
Whelen also asserted U.S. TrademarkÂ Registration No. 2,762,987Â (listed in the complaint by its application number),Â for the markÂ LINEAR-LED, which, according to the complaint, is â€œused in connection with . . . warning lights and warning light systems.â€
Whelen argues that Able is infringing its patent and trademark through the sale of a number of its warning light products.Â Whelen seeks damages and destruction of the infringing products.
Last year WhelenÂ sued another LED maker forÂ infringement of the ‘284Â Patent, a design patent,Â andÂ a few of its trademarks.Â
Cree, Inc. v. Cooper Lighting, LLC
Cree brought suit against Cooper Lighting (Cooper) on February 19, 2013 for the alleged infringement of two patentsÂ relating toÂ an LED apparatus and fixture.Â The complaint was filed in the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
The patentsÂ at issue are U.S. Patent Nos. 8,282,239, entitled â€œLight-directing apparatus with protected reflector-shield and lighting fixture utilizing sameâ€ (‘239 Patent)Â and 8,070,306, entitled â€œLED lighting fixtureâ€ (‘306 Patent).Â Ruud, a subsidiary of Cree, and Cooper are also in litigation surrounding the alleged infringement of a number of Ruudâ€™s patents (see previous posts here and here).
Cree alleges that Cooperâ€™s Ventus LED product infringes the â€˜306 Patent andÂ its AccuLED Optics system infringes the â€˜239 patent.Â According to the complaint, Cooper also offers and sells a number of other infringing products under numerous brands. Cree is seeking a permanent injunction and damages.
Illumination Management Solutions, Inc. v. Ruud Lighting, Inc.
On February 13, 2013, Illumination Management Solutions (IMS) filed suit against Ruud Lighting (Ruud) in federal court in Tyler, Texas for alleged patent infringement and civil conspiracy.
The patent at issue is U.S. Patent No. 7,674, 018 entitled “LED device for wide beam generation.” This LED device produces light in a wide-angle profile which can be used for street lighting purposes.
IMS is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions to prevent further infringement, an award of compensatory, exemplary, and treble damages, attorneyâ€™s fees, and an order that Ruud â€œtransfer to [IMS] any interest assigned to Ruud Lighting. . . .â€
VoltStar Technologies, Inc. v. Superior Communications, Inc.
On February 1, 2013, VoltStar filed suit against Superior in the Eastern District of TexasÂ for alleged patent infringement of three of its patents.
According to the complaint, the patents pertain to a battery charger â€œthat automatically shuts off when a device is fully charged or not plugged in, eliminating â€˜vampire load.â€™ This feature reduces power consumption and extends battery life.â€
VoltStar is seeking a permanent injunction as well as monetary damages for Superiorâ€™s alleged infringement.
*Cliff Brazil is a contributor to the Green Patent Blog.Â Cliff is currently in his second year at the University of Kansas School of Law in Lawrence, Kansas.Â He received his undergraduate degree in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado.