Nichia Secures Significant Victory in the ITC against Lighting Science Group

October 14, 2020 [addtoany]

On April 7, 2020, and October 1, 2020, the United States International Trade Commission (“ITC”) upheld the Initial Determinations of no violation of Section 337 in Investigation No. 337-TA-1168, brought by Lighting Science Group Corporation and its subsidiaries Healthe Inc. and Global Value Lighting LLC (collectively, “LSG”) against Nichia Corporation and Nichia America Corporation (collectively, “Nichia”) and others.  The ITC upheld the Administrative Law Judge’s decisions that (1) none of Nichia’s accused products infringe LSG’s United States Patent Nos. 7,528,421; 7,095,053; and 7,098,483 (collectively, the “asserted patents”), (2) LSG failed to show a technical domestic industry for the asserted patents, and (3) several of the claims are invalid.  Accordingly, Nichia is pleased to report that the investigation is terminated.

LSG, a portfolio company of Pegasus Capital Advisors, brought this investigation in the ITC as part of a patent monetization scheme seeking to block importation of certain LED products into the United States.  The respondents that LSG targeted—including Nichia, three other LED manufacturers, and several of their luminaire customers—are major players in the lighting industries, each representing a substantial share in its respective market.  LSG litigated through ITC review, notwithstanding the merits of the case or the value of its patents, wasting the valuable resources of both the respondents and the IP litigation system itself.

Nichia strongly opposes this type of scheme, as well as the recent trend of investment money being poured into patent litigation by outside funders, fueling litigation separated from business operations and irrespective of legal merits.  While Nichia believes that patent litigation is an appropriate and necessary way for companies to differentiate their technologies from those of their competitors and to seek compensation for others’ free-riding on their investment in R&D, the treatment of a patent portfolio as a “lottery ticket” only harms industry.  Nichia will always defend itself from, and will continue to condemn, such types of unwarranted patent litigation.

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