On July 12, 2018 (Japan time), Nitride Semiconductor Co., Ltd. filed a patent infringement lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court against Digi-Key Corporation doing business as Digi-Key Electronics and UV-LED maker Ray Vio. Digi-Key sells UV-LED products on the internet that are manufactured by RayVio Corporation, a CA-based UV-LED manufacturer. In the complaint, Nitride Semiconductor is seeking an injunction that would mandate the destruction of infringing products and damages.
Specifically, the infringement complaint alleges that Digi-Key and RayVio infringe Nitride’s Japanese patent (JP 3,285,341, “Method for Manufacturing Gallium Nitride Compound Semiconductor”) by manufacturing and selling the allegedly infringing UV-LED products.
Nitride Semiconductor already filed a patent infringement complaint against RayVio with the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California alleging infringement of the U.S. patent corresponding to the Japanese patent described above, on May 23, 2017 (PDT). Then, on September 22, 2017 (CDT), Nitride also filed a patent infringement complaint with the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota against Digi-Key.
Nitride says that the company is a pioneer in the field of UV-LED and that with Professor Shiro Sakai at Tokushima University (Japan), Nitride succeeded in developing a highly efficient UV-LED in 2000. Since then, the company says it has continued to manufacture and sell UV-LEDs. Nitride Semiconductor also points out that it has made an enormous investment in research and development to improve upon UV-LED technology. The company concluded its news release warning that Nitride Semiconductor will take resolute actions against infringers in any country where appropriate and necessary to protect its patents and other intellectual property rights.