19 May 2020
Seoul Semiconductor files patent litigation against automotive LED light distributor Onyx
South Korean LED maker Seoul Semiconductor Co Ltd has filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey against automotive component distributor Onyx Enterprise Int’l Corp, which operates CARiD.com (one of the largest online platforms for offering car parts and accessories, distributing various automotive LED lights such as automotive headlamps, tail-lights and fog lights).
Seoul asserts that automotive LED products being sold on CARiD.com infringe 12 patents – including Seoul’s WICOP (wafer-level integrated chip on PCB) technology, which was co-developed with its subsidiary Seoul Viosys Co Ltd.
WICOP is claimed to be the first technology to enable LED chips to be soldered to a PCB without lead-frames or gold wires, significantly enhancing heat dissipation and fitness for LED lenses. Such benefits have led to widespread applications of WICOP technology in automotive lighting, including daytime running lights (DRLs) and headlamps, as well as other LED products, such as LCD backlights for TV and mobile phones, smartphone flash LEDs, and high-power general lighting.
In October 2019, Seoul obtained a permanent injunction judgment against the sales of a Philips brand TV product for infringement of WICOP patents in litigation filed against Fry’s Electronics in the Texas Eastern District federal court. Also last year, Seoul filed a patent infringement lawsuit against the Factory Depot (another Philips brand TV product distributor) in the California Central District federal court.
“Several companies’ products described as a CSP (chip-scale package) are copying Seoul’s patented technology,” says one of Seoul’s IP department vice presidents. “To prevent the distribution of such products, Seoul has initiated this litigation. Establishing a fair competition culture of respecting intellectual property is essential for young entrepreneurs and small businesses.”