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Patent Lawsuit Dispute Between Epistar and Philips Lumileds Intensifies

Friday, May 11, 2007

Carrie Yu, DIGITIMES, Taipei [Friday 11 May 2007]

The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) has issued a notice of its decision that all of Epistar's OMA, MB, and GB LED products infringe the patent rights of Philips Lumileds, and that it has determined it will issue a limited exclusion order prohibiting importation of those infringing LEDs manufactured by or on behalf of Epistar, its affiliated companies, parents, subsidiaries, licensees, contractors, or other related business entities, according to Philips Lumileds.

Epistar said in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE) that it will apply for a review of the case since the ITC ruling is ungrounded and it will request a suspension of the exclusion order.

Biing-jye Lee, president of Epistar, said the company is disappointed by the ITC ruling, and added in saying that the interpretation of the patents involved is false. With the ruling, ITC is agreeing to let Philips Lumileds to have the rights on technologies it did not invent and does not use, Lee noted.

Epistar said the exclusion order will not take effect until 60 days after a final decision by the US president. Before that time, the maker can still export the restricted goods after paying a guarantee fee, Epistar added.

In addition, the Taiwan-based LED maker said it has finished developing PE and PN LEDs, which can replace MB LEDs and will be exempted from any patent disputes. Epistar also possess new-generation products (Phoenix series) that can replace OMA and GB LEDs, the maker noted.

The commission's notice expands its February 22, 2007 determination in which the commission adopted portions of the January 8, 2007, ruling that Epistar's MB I and MB II products infringe Philips Lumileds' US patent No. 5,008,718 (718 patent), that Philips Lumileds' 718 patent, patent No. 5,376,580; and patent No. 5,502,316 are valid and enforceable, and that Epistar's OMA, MB, and GB products are not licensed under those patents. In recent weeks, the parties have submitted briefs regarding whether Epistar's OMA I, OMA II, GB I, and GB II products also infringe, Philips Lumileds said.

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