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August 07, 2006

Call for Caution Regarding Toyoda Gosei’s Patents Related to LEDs

Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd

1.Blue LED-related Patents 
 Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. (“Toyoda Gosei”; President: Takashi Matsuura) started development of gallium nitride (GaN)-based blue light-emitting diodes in 1986 under the guidance of
Dr. Isamu Akasaki and with assistance from Toyota Central R&D Labs., Inc. In 1987,
the project group was commissioned by the Research Development Corporation of Japan (JRDC) (now the Japan Science and Technology Agency) to conduct “development of blue LED manufacturing technologies.” The project received JRDC’s designation of successful completion in 1991. In October 1995, Toyoda Gosei started mass production of high-brilliance blue LEDs, and since then Toyoda Gosei has continuously brought new blue LED products onto the market.
 As the fruits of its ongoing research and development, Toyoda Gosei has filed more than 2,000 patent applications related to GaN-based semiconductor LEDs, and has acquired patent rights on some 600 of these. A few representative patents include:

JP2623466, JP2626431, JP2681733, JP2737053, JP3026102, JP3209096, JP3312715,
JP3403665, JP3506874, JP3521201, JP3592300, JP3620926, JP3661871,
US5733796, US5959401, US6008539, US6121127, US6249012, US6362017, US6472689
US6472690, US6593599, US6607595, US6830992, US6984536, EP0444630, TW125577

  As of today, Toyoda Gosei has agreements with Nichia Corporation and Philips Lumileds Lighting Company, LLC., respectively, that allow the parties to utilize each other’s LED-related patents. TG also licenses the use of particular LDs as agreed in individual agreements.
  Because the manufacture, sale, or use of GaN-based semiconductor LEDs by any entity other than these may constitute infringement of Toyoda Gosei’s patents, Toyoda Gosei advises the fullest caution to avoid infringement.

2.White LED-related Patents 
  Toyoda Gosei, together with Tridonic Optoelectronics GmbH (Austria), Leuchtstoffwerk Breitungen GmbH (Germany), and Litec GbR (Germany), has filed joint applications for basic patents relating to a technology for forming white light using blue LEDs and new yellow (silicate) phosphors. Patent rights have been granted in the Austria, U.S.A., Korea, Taiwan, and Russia, and are to be registered soon in China as well. These patents are:

Austria: AT410266B
USA: US6809347B、US6943380B
Korea: KR10-0532638B
Taiwan: TW533604B
Russia: RU2251761C
China: (notice of decision to grant patent received)
(These applications are also filing in Europe, Japan, Malaysia and India.)

Licensees for these patents currently number roughly twenty worldwide. However,
Toyoda Gosei has recently received information that companies other than licensees have been manufacturing and selling white LEDs using silicate phosphors.
Because the manufacture, sale, or use of white LEDs using silicate phosphors by non-licensed entities may constitute infringement of Toyoda Gosei and its partners patent rights, Toyoda Gosei advises the fullest caution to avoid infringement of its patents related to these technologies.