Cleantech in Court – Green Patent Complaint Update
In the last month several green patent complaints were filed in the fields of LEDs, advanced batteries and smart grid.
Bayco Products, Inc. v. Philips Intellectual Property & Standards
Bayco Products (Bayco), a Texas company that makes lighting products including LED flashlights, brought a declaratory judgment action against Philips requesting a judgment that three Philips patents are invalid and/or not infringed.
Filed February 26, 2013 in federal court in Dallas, Texas, the complaint alleges that Philips is “seeking to exact ill-deserved royalty payments” from Bayco in connection with its XPP-5450 Series Dual Function Headlamps.
The patents-in-suit are U.S. Patent No. 6,234,648, entitled “Lighting system,” U.S. Patent No. 6,250,774, entitled “Luminaire” and U.S. Patent No. 6,692,136, entitled “LED/phosphor-LED hybrid lighting systems.”
Trustees of Boston University v. Seoul Semiconductor, Ltd.
Trustees of Boston University v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
In October of 2012, Boston University (BU) sued Korean LED maker Seoul Semiconductor (Seoul) in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The original complaint was covered here and asserted U.S. Patent No. 5,686,738 (’738 Patent).
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 devices include gallium nitride thin film LEDs and LEDs made by exposing a sapphire substrate to activated nitrogen and depositing Group III nitride semiconductor material.
BU also asserted the ’738 Patent against Samsung in a complaint filed in the District of Massachusetts on March 21, 2013.
Celgard, LLC v. Sumitomo Chemical Company, Ltd.
Celgard is a North Carolina company that manufactures specialty membranes and separators for lithium ion batteries. On February 22, 2013, Celgard filed a patent infringement complaint against Sumitomo Chemical Company (Sumitomo) in federal court in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The complaint alleges that Sumitomo is inducing infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,432,586 (’586 Patent) by selling lithium ion battery separators to its customers knowing that the separators will be incorporated into finished lithium ion batteries.
The ’586 Patent is entitled “Separator for a high energy rechargeable lithium battery” and directed to a separator including a ceramic composite layer and a polyolefinic microporous layer. The ceramic layer has a matrix material and is adapted to block dendrite growth and prevent electronic shorting.
Electric Power Group, LLC v. Alstom, S.A.
In July of 2012 Electric Power Group (EPG), a Pasadena, California, developer and distributor of electric grid monitoring solutions sued the French conglomerate Alstom and its U.S. division Alstom Grid in the Central District of California for alleged infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8,060,259 (’259 Patent).
The ’259 Patent is entitled “Wide-area, real-time monitoring and visualization system” and directed to a wide-area real-time performance monitoring system for monitoring and assessing dynamic stability of an electric power grid.
EPG filed a first amended complaint against Alstom on February 19, 2013 in which it added a claim for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,233,843, entitled “Real-time performance monitoring and management system.” The accused products are Alstom’s “PhasorPoint” and “e-terravision” solutions alone or in combination with other wide area measurement systems-based smart grid offerings.
Eric Lane is a patent attorney at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP in San Diego and the author of Green Patent Blog. Mr. Lane can be reached at email@example.com
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