Bloomberg News

Siemens’s Osram Seeks to Block LG, Samsung LEDs From U.S.

June 06, 2011

(Updates with Osram comment in third paragraph.)

June 6 (Bloomberg) -- Siemens AG’s Osram unit said it filed patent-infringement complaints against Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. in the U.S. and Germany over light- emitting diode technology in televisions and lighting products.

Complaints filed with the International Trade Commission in Washington seek to block U.S. imports of LG and Samsung products that use LEDs. Civil suits were filed in federal courts in Wilmington, Delaware, and Germany, Osram said today. LG also was sued in Japan, and Osram said it may file a complaint against LG in China as well.

The complaints aim “to prevent unauthorized use of our valuable technology,” Aldo Kamper, chief executive officer of Osram Opto Semiconductors, said in a statement. “We have a considerable number of patents which we developed in the course of many years of intensive research and development work.”

Samsung, based in Suwon, South Korea, is accused of infringing nine patents and Seoul-based LG is accused of violating 12 patents in the ITC cases. Seven patents are in both cases. The Delaware case, which targets Samsung, cites 10 patents.

Osram, based in Munich, sells LEDs under the names TopLED, Golden Dragon Plus, Ceramos and Ostar, according to the ITC complaints. The company licenses the patents to other companies that make LEDs, including Royal Philips Electronics NV’s Lumileds unit, Cree Inc. and Nichia Corp., Osram said.

Less Energy

The patents involve technology used in LED displays for light-conversion and electrical and thermal connections in backlighting for TV sets and monitors, Osram said. LEDs, which require less energy than traditional lighting, are increasingly used in electronics, home lighting and automobiles.

“Due to their superior longevity and efficiency, white LEDs are expected to replace incandescent bulbs and fluorescent bulbs as the standard for general-purpose lighting,” Osram said in the LG complaint.

That ITC complaint also names LG Innotek Co., which is part-owned by LG and supplies LEDs to it. The complaint seeks to block LED-backlit televisions made by LG Electronics, as well as stand-alone lighting products made by LG Innotek.

The ITC is an independent agency that investigates allegations of unfair trade practices and has the power to block products that violate U.S. patent rights. If it agrees to investigate the claims, its review will take from 15 to 18 months.

The Samsung ITC case is In the Matter of Light-Emitting Diodes and Products Containing Same, Complaint No. 2813, and the LG case is In the Matter of Certain Light-Emitting Diodes, Complaint. No. 2812, both U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington). The Delaware lawsuit is Osram GmbH v. Samsung Electronics Co., 11cv496, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

--Editors: Stephen Farr, Michael Shepard.

To contact the reporters on this story: Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware, at pmilford@bloomberg.net; Susan Decker in Washington at sdecker1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net. Allan Holmes at aholmes25@bloomberg.net


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