Clean Tech in Court: Green Patent Complaint Update

November 28th, 2012 by Eric Lane Leave a reply »

A number of green patent complaints have been filed in the last several weeks, with LED lighting continuing to be the most litigated area.  Complaints were also filed in smart grid and soil and groundwater remediation technologies.

 

LEDs

Technical Consumer Products v. Philips Solid-State Lighting Solutions, Inc. et al.

Technical Consumer Products, a distributor of LED lighting products brought this declaratory judgment suit seeking judgments of non-infringement and/or invalidity of eight Philips patents.  The patents-in-suit are:

U.S. Patent No. 6,013,988, entitled “Circuit arrangement, and signaling light provided with the circuit arrangement”;

U.S. Patent No. 6,147,458, entitled “Circuit arrangement, and signaling light provided with the circuit arrangement”;

U.S. Patent No. 6,577,512, entitled “Power supplies for LEDs”;

U.S. Patent No. 6,586,890, entitled “LED driver circuit with PWM output”;

U.S. Patent No. 7,038,399, entitled “Methods and apparatus for providing power to lighting devices”;

U.S. Patent No. 7,352,138, entitled “Methods and apparatus for providing power to lighting devices”;

U.S. Patent No. 7,256,554, entitled “LED power control methods and apparatus”; and

U.S. Patent No. 7,737,643, entitled LED power control methods and apparatus”.

The complaint was filed October 11, 2012 in the Northern District of Ohio.

 

Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. v. Aurora Lighting, Inc.

Filed November 2, 2012 in the District of Massachusetts, Philips’ complaint alleges infringement of seven patents relating to LED lighting. 

Philips accuses Clearwater, Florida-based Aurora Lighting of selling a host of allegedly infringing products including retrofit bulbs, downlight flat panel products, highbay products, floodlight products, canopy and wallwasher products, submersible products, and street light products.

The asserted patents are:

U.S. Patent No. 6,250,774, entitled “Luminaire”;

U.S. Patent No. 6,561,690, entitled “Luminaire based on the light emission of light-emitting diodes”;

U.S. Patent No. 6,788,011, entitled “Multicolored LED lighting method and apparatus”;

U.S. Patent No. 7,038,399, entitled “Methods and apparatus for providing power to lighting devices”;

U.S. Patent No. 7,161,311, entitled “Multicolored LED lighting method and apparatus”;

U.S. Patent No. 7,262,559, entitled “LEDs driver”; and

U.S. Patent No. 7,659,673, entitled “Methods and apparatus for providing a controllably variable power to a load”.

 

LED Tech Development, LLC v. Apple, Inc.

LED Tech Development, LLC v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc. et al.

LED Tech Development, LLC v. Fujitsu America, Inc. et al.

previous update reported on LED Tech Development’s (LED Tech) suits against Home Depot and Coleman. 

The company substantially expanded its patent enforcement campaign recently with three new complaints against Apple, Samsung and Fujitsu, filed in federal court in Delaware on October 11th, October 15th, and November 9th, respectively.

The Apple complaint asserts U.S. Patent No. 6,095,661, entitled “Method and Apparatus for an L.E.D. Flashlight” (’661 Patent), U.S. Patent No. 7,393,119, entitled “Method and apparatus for constant light output pulsed L.E.D. illumination” (’119 Patent), U.S. Patent No. 6,488,390, entitled “Color-adjusted camera light and method” (’390 Patent), and U.S. Patent No. 6,808,287, which is related to the ’661 Patent, entitled “Method and apparatus for a pulsed L.E.D. illumination source” (’287 Patent), and directed to a hand held portable LED device that maintains a predetermined light output level by selectively applying pulsed power from a DC voltage source to the LED units.

LED Tech alleges that certain Apple products utilizing pulse-width modulation signals to drive light-emitting diodes are infringing the asserted patents, including the iPad3 and the Macbook Pro.

The Samsung complaint also lists the ’661, ’119, ’390 and ’287 Patents, and the Fujitsu Complaint asserts the ’661, ’119 and ’287 Patents.

 

Trustees of Boston University v. Everlight Electronics Co. et al.

Trustees of Boston University v. Seoul Semiconductor Co. et al.

Boston University recently sued two LED makers, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 5,686,738 (’738 Patent).  The complaints (BU-Everlight complaint; BU-Seoul complaint) were filed in the District of Massachusetts on October 17, 2012.

The ’738 Patent is entitled “Highly insulated monocrystalline gallium nitride thin films” and directed to gallium nitride semiconductor devices and methods of preparing highly insulating GaN single crystal films in a molecular beam epitaxial growth chamber.

The accused products include LEDs containing gallium nitride thin films.

 

Altman Stage Lighting Co. v. Lightronics Inc.

Filed October 18, 2012 in the Southern District of New York, Altman’s complaint accuses Lightronics of infringing U.S. Patent No. 8,152,332 (’332 Patent).  Altman is a Yonkers, New York, stage lighting company.  According to Altman, a particular wash lighting fixture made by the Virginia-based lighting and control systems company infringes the ’332 Patent.

The ’332 Patent is entitled “LED cyclorama light” and directed to a cyclorama light containing an LED array.

 

Smart Grid

IP Co. v. Crestron Electronics, Inc.

IP Co., d/b/a Intus IQ has been an active non-practicing patentee in smart grid (see, e.g., here), and continued that trend recently with a lawsuit against New Jersey-based Crestron Electronics.

According to a complaint filed October 29, 2012 in the Eastern District of Texas, Crestron is directly infringing, contributorily infringing and inducing infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,044,062 (’062 Patent) by its sale of infiNET wireless lighting control and automation systems.

The ’062 Patent is entitled “Wireless network system and method for providing same” and directed to certain wireless network systems having a server providing a gateway between two networks.

 

Environmental Remediation

ThinkVillage Kerfoot, a Boulder, Colorado company, recently sued California-based water treatment company APTwater, alleging infringement of ten patents relating to soil and groundwater remediation technologies.

The complaint was filed in the Central District of California on November 6, 2012 and lists the following patents:

U.S. Patent No. 6,306,296, entitled “Groundwater and soil remediation with microporous diffusion apparatus”;

U.S. Patent No. 6,312,605, entitled “Gas-gas-water treatment for groundwater soil remediation”;

U.S. Patent No. 6,827,861, entitled “Gas-gas-water treatment for groundwater soil remediation”;

U.S. Patent No. 6,872,318, entitled “Microporous diffusion apparatus”;

U.S. Patent No. 7,537,706, entitled “Microporous diffusion apparatus”;

U.S. Patent No. RE43,350, entitled “Microporous diffusion apparatus”;

U.S. Patent No. 6,984,329, entitled “Coated microbubbles for treating an aquifer or soil formation”;

U.S. Patent No. 7,264,747, entitled “Coated microbubbles for treating an aquifer or soil formation”;

U.S. Patent No. 6,582,611, entitled “Groundwater and subsurface remediation”; and

U.S. Patent No. 7,033,492, entitled “Groundwater and subsurface remediation”.

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