Sensor Electronic Technology, Inc. (SETi) of Columbia, South Carolina USA, a developer of UV LED products and technology, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against both Bolb, Inc. and Quantum Egg, Inc. (Q-egg) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. In its infringement complaint, SETi alleges that Bolb and Q-Egg are selling UV LED sterilizer devices that infringe on six LED patents.
According to SETi, the asserted patents cover fundamental technology for ultraviolet (UV) LEDs and encompass UV LED sterilizer structures, drivers, chip fabrication, and epitaxial layer growth. SETi says that since its establishment in 1999, it has been researching and developing patented UV LED technologies. Notably, numerous government project grants focused on UV LED technology, including grants from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), recognized SETi’s UV LED technology
The firm also worked with Seoul Viosys Co., Ltd., a UV LED company based in South Korea. This collaboration resulted in the development of Violeds technology, a clean technology using UV LEDs for disinfection, deodorization, phototherapy, and curing. In fact, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has utilized Violeds technology aboard the International Space Station.
UV LED Marking Growing Fast
The company asserts that the market value of these UV LED technologies has grown exponentially. SETi also says that in 2017, the estimated value of the UV LED market reached USD $223 million, and this market is projected to increase to USD $1.224 billion by 2022, a compound annual growth rate of more than 33% per year.
Similarly, the company points out that the UV LED appliance market has extended to numerous fields, including purification and medical devices, as well as curing machines. In particular, the company contends that the sterilization and purification market for UV LEDs is forecast to grow significantly over the next few years.
“SETi strongly opposes the distribution of products in the market that infringe our patents. For this reason, our company will be undertaking enforcement actions against suspected infringers where appropriate and necessary,” stated SETi officials.
“While SETi is pleased to see market growth for UV LED technologies, it is important that such growth is accompanied by fair competition, including respect of intellectual property,” the officials continued. “SETi believes that an increasing number of products in the marketplace infringe on SETi’s established patents. In order to protect its valuable intellectual property, SETi has committed to monitoring the market for patent infringement and engaging in enforcement activities.”