Seoul Semiconductor sues Conrad on mobile phone flashlight LEDs

lawsuit
Seoul Semiconductor has filed a patent infringement suit against Conrad Electronic for allegedly violating patents related to flashlight LEDs for mobile phones. (Pixabay)

The stakes are high in the mobile phone business, so it’s not surprising that some companies are fiercely protective of their IP and will go to great lengths to protect it.

Such is the case with Seoul Semiconductor Co., Ltd., a supplier of LED products and technology. On Thursday, the company filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Conrad Electronic S.E. (Conrad), a large European retailer of electronic products. The suit, filed in Germany in the District Court of Mannheim, is the second one involving mobile phone products. In July, Seoul sued Conrad for allegedly violating patents related to backlight LED units.

In the new flashlight LED suit, the patent in question is Seoul’s “Roughened Light Extraction Surface” technology that efficiently extracts light emitted from the internal LED structure by treating LED chip surfaces, thereby significantly improving light intensity and brightness. This is considered a fundamental technology of LED chip fabrication. 

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The company has tangled with a number of companies to protect its IP.

In December 2018, Seoul Semiconductor won a patent litigation suit against Everlight Electronics in Germany. The patent involved in this litigation relates to an LED package structure for thermal dissipation. Everlight purchased this patent from a U.S. company in 2017, and subsequently sued Seoul in the Mannheim Court of Germany. However, the Mannheim Court ruled in favor of Seoul and ordered that Everlight to bear the statutory costs of the court proceeding.

This past April, Seoul filed a patent litigation suit against SATCO Products, according to an article on lightedmag.com, claiming SATCO violated 11 patents, including two patents for LED power operation, three for LED lights, one patent involving a diode chip, and another for alternating current-driven elements. 

Seoul Semiconductor’s legal battles have broadened to include the distributors of the companies selling products with the allegedly infringing patents. The company said it has already filed three patent infringement lawsuits against distributors of suspected infringing products in Europe alone, including Mouser Electronics.

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