EdisonReport has named Shelley Wald it’s 2016 Person of the Year. Ms. Wald is the president of WAC Lighting, a leading global manufacturer and innovative designer of lighting for Luxury Residential, Commercial, Hospitality, Institutional, Retail and Architectural applications.
We chose Ms. Wald because of her many contributions including, most recently, fighting for the industry against the Philips IP machine.
Ms. Wald, with her attorney, David Radelescu, of Radulescu LLP has used a relatively new tool, called the inter parties review, or IPR, to challenge many of Philips’ key patents. The result has been success to free our industry from dubious patents by challenging their validity in the USPTO.
On 28 November 2016, EdisonReport reported that the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) invalidated claims in three patents that were previously asserted in at least half a dozen lawsuits by Philips against LED lighting companies. The PTAB invalidated all challenged claims of Philips’s Patent Nos. 6,013,988 and 6,561,690. The PTAB also invalidated half of the challenged claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,586,890. Philips Lighting claims patents on inventions such as warm dimming, high color rendering white, tunable white, color illumination and efficient light mixing and distribution.
While EdisonReport fully supports companies, such as Philips, who invest in R&D that dramatically improve our industry, we don’t support the idea of applying for wholesale and ambiguous patents.
The IPR technique that WAC employs is good for our industry in that it allows protection to Philips for what they truly invented but reduces the opportunity for abuses by companies making broad claims.
In addition to the IP work, Ms. Wald has earned a reputation as a socially conscious and visionary leader. She launched WAC’s Responsible Lighting campaign, which highlights a commitment to responsible manufacturing practices and energy efficient technology, as well as providing opportunities for those who are less fortunate.
Leveraging new technology as a platform for lighting innovations, WAC has been a pioneer in electronics and solid-state lighting such as Sol, a unique chandelier designed around Organic LED light sources.
Ms. Wald is in-charge of operations in North America and South America and oversees sales, marketing, product development and administrative activities, in conjunction with the firm’s state-of-the-art manufacturing campus in China. The daughter of Tony and Tai Wang (the founders and principals of WAC Lighting), she carries the torch by directing strategic global integration and upholding the company’s commitment to excellence.
A dedicated contributor to the lighting profession, she also serves on the Standards Technical Panels for the development of safety standards for OLED Lighting and for LED Lighting with Underwriters Laboratories. Ms. Wald also established a consortium of lighting manufacturers to support the H foundation’s 10th annual Goombay Bash, a fundraiser for basic science cancer research. She is active with the American Institute of Architects, National Association of Electrical Distributors, Illuminating Engineering Society, the Electrical Manufacturer’s Club, and National Executives of Women in Hospitality.
Ms. Wald also serves on the Board of Directors of the New York Asian Women’s Center to build public awareness about domestic violence and abuse against Asian women and their children. She is a member of Rotary International, a service organization serving local communities and charities.
Shelley Wald, our 2016 Person of the Year.