8 February 2018
Seoul Semiconductor files third patent infringement lawsuit against Mouser for sale of Everlight products in Italy
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On 2 February, South Korean LED maker Seoul Semiconductor Co Ltd filed a patent infringement lawsuit in Italy in the Court of Milan against global electronic components distributor Mouser Electronics Inc as well as its Italian subsidiary for the sale of certain LED products made by Taiwan-based Everlight Electronics Co Ltd.
Seoul asserts that Mouser is liable for selling LED products that infringe its patent rights. Seoul has sought a permanent injunction, damages, withdrawal from the market, and destruction of the products.
Seoul previously filed two patent infringement lawsuits against Mouser in Germany in the District Court of Düsseldorf in 2017, alleging infringement by high-power and mid-power LED products made by Everlight.
Despite such lawsuits, Mouser has continued to sell allegedly infringing products in other countries. Seoul has hence launched its third patent infringement lawsuit against Mouser for the sale of Everlight LED products in Italy.
Seoul says that it has invested 10% of its revenue (over $100m per year) in R&D to develop technology and to strengthen its patent portfolio since its inception. The firm has also made committed to protecting its intellectual property rights against suspected infringement since it obtained a preliminary injunction order against Taiwan LED maker AOT in 2005. For example, in 2014 it filed patent infringement lawsuits against two North American TV makers, resulting in a judgment based on one manufacturer’s admissions of infringement, and royalty-bearing licenses by both. In 2016, Seoul secured a willful infringement judgment from the US district court for its LED lens patent against Japanese LED lens maker Enplas. In 2017, Seoul resolved patent infringement litigation against Kmart, which agreed to stop selling certain filament LED bulbs. Seoul also recently began an enforcement campaign for protecting its Acrich technology, and has filed a patent lawsuit against a US lighting maker for infringement of 12 Acrich patents. Throughout this period, Seoul has continued to put other companies on notice that it suspects of patent infringement.
Seoul plans to continue and expand its patent enforcement worldwide against firms suspected of infringement, until they cease and Seoul secures court remedies to address harm caused by the infringement. “To fundamentally block distribution of suspected infringing products, we will have to expand our enforcement efforts to include direct manufacturers, secondary product manufacturers who have purchased or used suspected-infringing components, as well as their distributors,” says a member of Seoul’s IP team.