LED lighting remains the hottest area of green patent litigation, with several complaints filed in the last several weeks.Â Green patent complaints were recently filed in the areas of advanced batteries and solar powered lighting as well.
Celgard, LLC v. SK Innovation Co., Ltd.
Celgard is a North Carolina company that manufactures specialty membranes and separators for lithium ion batteries.Â On April 26, 2013, Celgard filed a patent infringement complaintÂ against SK Innovation (SK)Â in federal court in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The complaint alleges thatÂ SK is directly infringing and inducing infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,432,586 (â€™586 Patent) by selling lithium ion battery separators to its customers knowing that the separators will be incorporated into finished lithium ion batteries.
The â€™586 Patent is entitled â€œSeparator for a high energy rechargeable lithium batteryâ€ and directed to a separator including a ceramic composite layer and a polyolefinic microporous layer.Â The ceramic layer has a matrix material and isÂ adapted to block dendrite growth and prevent electronic shorting.
Solar Powered Lighting
Richmond v. Lumisol Electrical Ltd. et al.
On March 27, 2013, Simon Nicholas Richmond filed suit against a number of defendants including Lumisol Electrical, Ningbo Hangshun Electrical, and Costco for alleged infringement of threeÂ U.S. patents relating to a solar power lighting assembly and one patent relating to a wind indicator illuminated by solar power.Â
The asserted lighting assembly patents are part of the same family andÂ include U.S. Patent Nos. 7,196,477, 7,429,827 and 8,362,700, each entitled “Solar powered light assembly to produce light of varying colors.”Â The fourth patent is U.S. Patent No. 8,089,370, entitled “Illuminated wind indicator.”
The accused products include the Color-Changing Sun and Moon Solar Stake Path Light sold under the brand name Celestial Series Sun and Moon Light.
Lighting Science Group Corporation v. Cree, Inc.
Florida LED lighting company Lighting Science Group (LSG) recently sued North Carolina-based Cree for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8,201,968, entitled “Low profile light” (‘968 Patent).
Filed April 10, 2013 in federal court in Orlando, the LSG complaintÂ alleges that Cree infringes at least claims 1-6, 9, 14, 17-20 and 22 of the ‘968 Patent by its manufacture and sale of the T67 LED Downlight product.
The ‘968 Patent is directed to a luminaire including a heat spreader and a heat sinkÂ disposedÂ outboard of the heat spreader, an outer optic securely retained relative to the heat spreader and/or the heat sink, and an LED light source.
Nicholas Holiday, Inc. v. 1 Energy Solutions, Inc.
On April 1, 2013, Nicholas HolidayÂ brought a declaratory judgment action againstÂ 1 Energy Solutions (1 Energy)Â in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina.Â
The patent at issue isÂ 1 Energy’s U.S. Patent No. 7,045,965 (‘965 Patent),Â granted in 2006, and issued as a reissue patent on January 1, 2013.Â The ‘965 Patent is entitled “LED light module and series connected light modules” andÂ relates to a more reliable light module having LEDs connected in parallel for use in light strings such as Christmas lights.
According to the complaint, Nicolas Holiday has intervening rights because it began making and selling various light string sets in 2008, including the Energy Smart LED C-5 and the Energy Smart 50 LED Colorite Miniature Lights light string products.Â
Nicholas Holiday is requesting a declaratory judgment that the reissue patent is invalid, its products do not infringe the reissue patent, and that it may continue to make, use and sell its LED light string products.
Relume Corporation Trust v. Swarco America, Inc. et al.
Relume filedÂ a patent infringement complaintÂ against Swarco and Philips Lumileds on March 27, 2013 in U.S. District Court for the District ofÂ Delaware.Â Â The complaintÂ asserts RE 42,161, entitled â€œPower supply for light emitting diode arrayâ€ (â€™161 Reissue), which is a reissue of U.S. Patent No. 5,661,645.
The â€™161 Reissue is directed to a power supply apparatus and system for providing power to LEDs, particularly LED array traffic signals.Â The accused products areÂ are Swarco’s FUTURLED ITEÂ traffic signal modules.
Trustees of Boston University v. Amazon.com.
The â€™738 Patent is entitled â€œHighly insulated monocrystalline gallium nitride thin filmsâ€ and directed to gallium nitride semiconductor devices and methods of preparing highly insulating GaN single crystal films in a molecular beam epitaxial growth chamber.
BU allegs that certain Kindle Paperwhite and Fire devices contain infringing LEDs.
Jam Strait, Inc. v. Osram Sylvania, Inc.
A Mississippi company called Jam Strait recently sued Osram Sylvania in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana for allegedÂ infringement of a patent relating to LEDs used in motor vehicles.
The ‘625 Patent is entitled “LED light module for vehicles” and directed to an LED lamp module for use in vehicle tail lights.Â According to the ‘625 Patent, the module has integrated dual element control circuitry, voltage and current control circuitry, brightness enhancement circuitry, and LED circuitry built in to produce a bright, reliable, long life, energy efficient LED lamp that fits all vehicles.