Nichia Corporation has filed a provisional injunction action in Taiwan Hsinchu District Court against Advanced Optoelectronic Technology Inc. (AOT), a Taiwanese LED manufacturer.
The injunction is intended to prevent AOT from infringing Nichia's design patent (Taiwanese registration No. 089,036), one of Nichia's design patents concerning SMD LEDs.
Nichia believes that certain LEDs manufactured by AOT, specifically AOT-4008S-W312-Z and AOT-SHWU-Z-H, infringe this design patent.
LEDs corresponding to this design patent are mainly used as the light source in the backlights of LCD screens of cellular phones.
Nichia says that it holds design patents for this SMD-type LED in other countries as well as in Taiwan.
In February, AOT signed a licensing deal with Intematix to gain access to the US company's white LED phosphor technology.
According to an article on the DigiTimes website, AOT has already felt the affect of Nichia's actions against it. Samsung, the leading Korean handset maker, has reportedly cut its consumption of white LEDs supplied by AOT.
The article says that half of Samsung's requirement for white LEDs used in handsets is supplied by Nichia. Two Korean suppliers, Seoul Semiconductor and Samsung Electro-Mechanics, each supply 20% of Samsung's requirement, while the remaining 10% is split between AOT and fellow Taiwan-based supplier Harvatek.
US manufacturing responds to Nichia's demands
Earlier this month, Nichia released a statement saying that it "has been intensifying its patent enforcement activity and has been demanding that those who have sold products infringing Nichia’s US patents stop selling such products."
MPP Corp., of Osceola, WI, a manufacturer of various products containing LEDs, has agreed to stop manufacturing these products, which Nichia said infringed at least one of its US patents.
Nichia also says that some distributors are now marketing products with labels indicating they contain Nichia LEDs inside. For products that do not contain such labels, Nichia says it will examine for infringing products and will take necessary actions that could result in legal proceedings.