Seoul Semiconductor Expands Patent Litigation Against Fry’s

Seoul Semiconductor Co., Ltd., reported that it expanded its patent infringement litigation against Fry’s Electronics, Inc., a big-box consumer electronics retailer, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

In its amended complaint, Seoul asserts that top brand televisions sold in Fry’s stores infringe 19 Seoul Semiconductor patents covering WICOP Technology that enables LED chips to be directly soldered onto printed circuit boards (PCB), as well as LED chips, LED packages, backlight lenses, backlight modules, and phosphors.

Seoul filed its original patent infringement lawsuit against Fry’s on August 31, 2018.

Seoul’s backlight lens patents cover a new concept in lens technology for producing thin and light televisions. The company jointly developed this patented backlight lens technology with preeminent optical expert, Dr. David Pelka, and these development efforts included considerable research and development investments.

Seoul says it now holds about 160 backlight related patents, as a result of these efforts and investments.

Seoul’s backlight module patent refers to the use of KSF phosphors to enable significant improvement in the color gamut of LCD displays. Seoul Semiconductor co-developed the related technology with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation for numerous years. According to Seoul, the backlight technology has been widely incorporated in most mobile phones and increasingly applied in LCD TVs as well.

Seoul’s WICOP (Wafer Incorporated Chip on PCB) patents enable LED chips to be soldered onto a PCB without an LED package. Seoul points out that other companies may have attempted to imitate its patented WICOP technology, describing it as a CSP (Chip Size Package) that requires a sub-mount between a PCB and an LED.

Seoul Semiconductor- Diagram of key patented technology for WICOP

Seoul Semiconductor- Diagram of key patented technology for WICOP

Efforts to Protect its Patents LED Seoul to Expand Infringement Claims Against Fry’s

Protecting its patented technology has led Seoul to expand its infringement claims in the Fry’s ligation. Furthermore, to safeguard its LED backlight technology and other protected inventions, Seoul has actively enforced its patent rights and sent cease-and-desist letters to suspected infringers.

Seoul says that as a result of these enforcement efforts, the United States Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on November 19, 2018, that one of Seoul’s competitors willfully infringed Seoul’s LED lens and backlight module patents. The appellate court also ruled that Korean LED package company Lumens Co., Ltd provided LED backlight bars incorporating infringing products to television makers.

“We hope that our commitment for technology innovation would inspire young entrepreneurs and small businesses,” said Sam Ryu, Seoul’s vice president of IT Business.“Protecting that technology against infringement is a cornerstone of our business and sends an important message to the market, and other innovators who would follow in Seoul’s footsteps – that hard work and innovation will be respected.”

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