07 Nov 2002
The two LED developers have put aside their differences and entered into a cross-licensing agreement.
LED manufacturers Lumileds Lighting (the Agilent/Philips joint venture) and Nichia Corporation have signed a broad cross-licensing agreement under which they will share IP rights to their respective LED technologies. Both companies are leading developers of nitride-based LEDs for backlights, outdoor displays, color image scanners, traffic lights and automotive lighting and the move should accelerate LED technology and its adoption for more general lighting.
The agreement will avert patent disputes and associated supply issues, according to the companies. It is also expected to accelerate the design of brighter LEDs by enabling each company to incorporate the R&D efforts of the other in new product development.
"Lumileds and Nichia have complementary technologies, so it makes sense to cooperate in the interest of advancing LEDs as a lighting solution for the 21st century," said Noboru Tazaki, senior managing director of Nichia's Optoelectronics Products Division.
Nichia pioneered the development of blue and white InGaN LEDs, the latter consisting of a blue InGaN LED die with a thin coat of YAG yellow phosphor. More recently, Lumileds has developed white LED packages that can deliver 120 lumens from a single emitter - equivalent to a 10 W incandescent bulb.
The cooperation between Nichia and Lumileds should also open a dialogue towards establishing industry standards on high power LEDs for general illumination.
During 2002, Nichia signed agreements to end its patent disputes with rivals Osram Opto Semiconductors and Toyoda Gosei, as well as licensing its white LED manufacturing technology to Citizen Electronics.