Seoul Semiconductor Co., Ltd. announced that, in April 2022, it has launched patent infringement lawsuits against Ace Hardware, a global retail company, in the U.S., and, in Europe, against a distributor of Conrad Electronic’s sales platform.
In the two cases, which are pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and the German District Court of Düsseldorf, Seoul asserted infringement of its patents by Philips brand TVs, filament LED bulbs, and premium lighting products. Seoul also sought a recall of infringing products as well as the destruction of those products in the German case.
In these lawsuits, Seoul’s patents cover phosphor technology for high-quality color gamut and WICOP technology.
Seoul has developed its phosphor technology together with a Japanese company (“M”) over 15 years and has succeeded in producing LED lights that are the closest spectrum to natural light. Based on the quality of these lights, which is recognized in the industry, Seoul’s phosphor technology can be found in premium lighting products requiring more than CRI (color rendering index) 90, as well as display products.
WICOP is a revolutionary patented technology that is compactly designed without wire bonding or packaging, thus enabling LEDs to be mounted directly in a PCB assembly. WICOP technology has been adopted in over 100 car models, which is approximately 10% of the global automobile market. It is also widely used in about 20% of the global TV market as of 2020.
Seoul has already successfully obtained permanent injunctions against various infringing products several times in Europe and the U.S. In September 2020, the German District Court of Düsseldorf issued permanent injunctions, an order of recall and destruction against filament LED bulbs manufactured by a Phillips brand affiliate. In 2019 and 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and the New Jersey District Court issued permanent injunctions against the sales of a Philips TV product and 13 automotive lighting brand LED products respectively.
“While global companies emphasize corporate responsibility, such as ESG, many companies still use copycat products that stole others’ hard-earned technology in order to gain short-term profits,” said Myeong-Ki Hong, CEO of Seoul. “It is a pity that there are unethical companies that seek profits at the expense of others’ sweat and tears,” he added.