TransData Transferred and Consolidated; Philips and Seoul Settle

January 13th, 2012 by Eric Lane Leave a reply »

A couple of significant green patent lawsuits saw major developments last month.

First, in what might have become an epic battle, Philips Electronics and Seoul Semiconductor ended a two-way infringement suit involving six LED and semiconductor patents (Philips-Seoul_Dismissal) after settling their claims, including entering a cross-license agreement

The accused products included Seoul’s Acriche, Top View, High Flux, Side View and Z-Power LEDs.

A previous post discussed this suit, which was filed by Philips in March of last year.  Philips asserted infringement of five LED patents and requested a declaratory judgment of non-infringement and invalidity of Seoul’s U.S. Patent No. 5,075,742 (‘742 Patent). 

The ‘742 Patent is entitled “Semiconductor structure for optoelectronic components with inclusions” and is directed to a structure having plural layers in semiconductor material.  One of the layers includes stacked sub-layers, with each sub-layer having three dimensional “inclusions” – improved electron-hole areas – and a narrow band gap. 

Philips had alleged that it had a reasonable apprehension of being sued for infringement of the ‘742 Patent because of press releases and public statements by Seoul calling the patent “fundamental to indium gallium nitride-based light emitting device technology,” and characterizing a recent court decision as holding that it would be “impossible for LEDs that use InGaN in their active layers” to avoid infringement of the ‘742 Patent.

Second, at least seven patent suits filed by Texas smart meter company TransData filed in courts across a wide swath of the southern U.S. have been consolidated in the Western District of Oklahoma (see previous posts about these cases here, here, here and here).  TransData had moved to centralize the litigation, but argued for transfer to the Eastern District of Texas. 

In a recent Transfer Order (TransData_Transfer), the Panel on Multi-District Litigation (MDL) agreed that centralization was warranted but held the Western District of Oklahoma was the most appropriate location for the convenience of the parties and judicial efficiency. 

This is because of its convenient, central location, its relatively light docket, and the lack of opposition by the parties to the district:

We are persuaded that the Western District of Oklahoma is the most appropriate transferee district.  It is near Texas, where many of the parties are located; is in a geographically central location for this nationwide litigation; and an action is already pending in that district.  Most responding defendants support or do not oppose centralization in the Western District of Oklahoma, and the relative docket conditions in this district are more favorable than other proposed transferee forums.

The asserted patents are U.S. Patents Nos. 6,181,294 (‘294 Patent), 6,462,713 (‘713 Patent) and 6,903,699 (‘699 Patent), which relate to antennas and wireless communication devices for use with electric meters.

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