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November 17, 2000

Nichia Corporation Files Additional Damages Suit against Toyoda Gosei

In an ongoing patent infringement case concerning a patent for gallium nitride-based blue LEDs, Nichia Corporation recently filed an additional lawsuit in the Tokyo District Court seeking damages compensation from Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd.

To help clarify the situation, Toyoda Gosei offers the following comments on the nature of the latest lawsuit, the company's position on the case, and its bearing on the company's LED operations.

1. The patent in question and the nature of the lawsuit

1-1. The patent in question is for electrode configuration of gallium nitride-based compound semiconductor light-emitting devices (Japanese Patent No. 2748818).
1-2. Nature of the lawsuit
Nichia Corporation is claiming 10.5 billion yen as compensation for damages. In an earlier patent infringement lawsuit brought by Nichia against Toyoda Gosei, the Tokyo District Court ruled in favor of Nichia on August 31, 2000. The patent in question in the current lawsuit, and the (former) Toyoda Gosei products it relates to, are exactly the same as those covered by the previous ruling. The current lawsuit is thus a claim for additional compensation on the basis of the August 31 ruling.

2. Toyoda Gosei's response

  Toyoda Gosei and its lawyers firmly believe that the company has not made any infringement of the patent in question and that the patent itself is invalid. Toyoda Gosei has instituted the following appeal and lawsuit, and will continue to claim its legitimacy in this matter.
2-1. On September 1, 2000, Toyoda Gosei submitted an appeal to the Tokyo High Court for an annulment of the Tokyo District Court's August 31 ruling.
2-2. On June 15, 2000, Toyoda Gosei filed a lawsuit in the Tokyo High Court claiming that the patent at issue is invalid.

3. Bearing on Toyoda Gosei's LED operations

3-1. Both the August 31 judgment by the Tokyo District Court and the current lawsuit brought by Nichia Corporation relate only to former Toyoda Gosei products which it no longer manufactures, sells, or stocks. The improved LED products currently manufactured by Toyoda Gosei are not the subject of the current lawsuit.
3-2. The case therefore has no effect on Toyoda GoseiÍs continued manufacture and sales of LED products, and will not lead to any inconvenience for its customers.