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LED manufacturer files patent suit against B&Q

LED Bulb - B&Q 725 x 500

Nichia, a Japanese manufacturer of LEDs, has filed a patent suit against B&Q, claiming that the retailer has breached three European Patents: 0936682, 2197053, and 2276080, all relating to B&Q’s sale of LEDs that use YAG-based phosphor. 

The company is unhappy that its patented LED chips and the associated manufacturing process are being illegally copied, although it has Nichia’s patents are due to expire by 2017.  NB - at the time of writing, it has not been confirmed that B&Q is using illegal LED chips.

Katsuyuki Akutagawa, Chief Legal & IP Officer and Company Board Director of Nichia said: “We want all LED users to use legal (patented) LEDs,”

The manufacturer is seeking damages from B&Q in relation to 20 B&Q-branded LED products, including the sku: 240 White LED Lights (YF-10-44).  

In the last few months, Nichia has also brought lawsuits against chip manufacturers Everlight and Everlight China; audio/visual manufacturers Vizio and LG, and home improvement retailer Lowe’s.

One trade publication said it believes that Nichia is specifically targeting the distribution channels of LED bulb manufacturers in the hope that it will reduce the use of unpatented chips and increase the use of its own, patented chips.

The publication also explained that those retailers who have launched their own ranges of lower-priced, own-brand LED bulbs – for example, The Home Depot and IKEA - might be outsourcing production to Chinese manufacturers, thus increasing the risk of using unpatented chips.

A B&Q spokesperson told us:
"We can confirm that we have received the claim and are investigating it."

Source : Insight DIY 

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21 June 2016

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