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October 09, 2001

Judgment rendered by Tokyo High Court Validating Toyoda Gosei's Patent (decided in Toyoda Gosei's favor)

Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. (President: Mr. Takashi Matsuura) and others ("Toyoda Gosei") previously brought a suit before Tokyo High Court (Plaintiff: Toyoda Gosei and two others; Defendant: Commissioner of JPO; Intervenor to assist Defendant: Nichia Corporation) against the JPO's "Ruling to Revoke Patent" decided on March 13, 2000 with respect to the opposition Heisei-10 Opposition No. 72536 (Opponent: Keiichi Gonjo and Kazuo Kimura) concerning the following patent, which is one of the patents relating to a light-emitting gallium nitride-based compound semiconductor device which Toyoda Gosei owns.

Regarding this case, Tokyo High Court (Judge Nagai as Presiding Judge) rendered today (October 9, 2001) the judgment to the effect that the JPO's "Ruling to Revoke Patent" is annulled (substantially validating the patent) and thus, our assertion is justified.

Up to date from the beginning of 2001, Toyoda Gosei has consecutively won four cases in a row in Toyoda Gosei's favor as shown in the following table with respect to the lawsuits such as action demanding the annulment of Trial Decision or Ruling to Revoke concerning a gallium nitride-based blue LED in dispute between Toyoda Gosei and Nichia Corporation.

  Toyoda Gosei's Patent Nichia Corporation's Patent
Patent No. 
Patent No. 2681733 Patent No.
Patent No.
Invalid Invalid Valid Valid
Tokyo High Court Judgment (Date of Judgment) Valid 
(March 21, 2001)
(October 9, 2001)
(June 13. 2001)
(October 2, 2001)
1. Subject Rights : Patent No. 2681733
2. Grounds for taking the action demanding the annulment of The Ruling of JPO

[Contents of JPO's Decision on Opposition]:

"Publicly known reference materials refer to a Nitride-III-Group Element Compound Semiconductor LED having an Ni electrode above a p-type layer, and further disclose a p-type layer with a double layer structure, and therefore, the subject invention can easily be thought of, based on these publicly known reference materials."

[Assertions by Toyoda Gosei]

The JPO made a wrong decision on the inventive step and therefore, the patent is valid.

3. Judgment of Tokyo High Court

The Ruling of JPO to the effect that due to no inventive step, the patent is revoked, is erroneous in judging the differences between the subject patent invention as against the inventions stated in the publicly known reference materials and therefore, the JPO's Ruling is annulled.