Osram files new patent complaints in South Korea

Osram files new patent complaints in South Korea | News | Lighting.

Osram has filed new patent infringement complaints against LG subsidiary LG Innotek and Samsung in South Korea.

In a filing with the Korea Trade Commission (KTC), Osram alleges that LG Innotek infringes four LED patents for generating white light. The company is requesting that the KTC bans the export of the LG LED products that are allegedly manufactured using patented Osram technology.

In actions filed with the Seoul Central District Court, Osram has claimed that LG Group and Samsung companies are infringing Osram’s patents on white and surface mountable LEDs in Korea.

“We respect the property rights of other companies and expect the same from other market participants,” said Aldo Kamper, the CEO of Osram Opto Semiconductors.

In June of this year, Osram sued LG Group and Samsung companies for infringing patents and filed lawsuits in the US and Germany, and also filed infringement lawsuits against LG Group companies in Japan and China.

In July, Samsung LED retaliated by filing a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) requesting that it barred the importation of products made by Osram, Osram Opto Semiconductors, and Osram Sylvania into the US, alleging a total of eight patent infringements of core LED technologies used in lighting, automobiles, projectors, cell phone screens, and televisions.

In June, Samsung LED also filed a patent infringement action against Osram in a Korean court.

In a statement issued Monday, 22 August, Samsung LED said it was aware of Osram’s announcement: “Osram’s actions in South Korea are a typical and expected response to Samsung’s legal actions and appear to be an attempt to delay Samsung LED’s infringement action against Osram in Korea.”


Rare earth shortages cause Havells to raise fluorescent prices

Rare earth shortages cause Havells to raise fluorescent prices | News | Lighting.

Rare earth shortages cause Havells to raise fluorescent prices

Havells-Sylvania has announced price increases to its fluorescent lamp and luminaire products. The company says the increases, which become effective immediately, are due to the limited availability and steep cost increases of phosphors.


Advances in the recycling of electrical waste could release rare earth metals locked in some products. (Picture courtesy of Lumicom)

As reported in Lighting, global shortages of rare earth elements (REEs), which have been exacerbated by the Chinese government reducing production and exports to protect its fast diminishing reserves, have increased costs in the lighting supply chain. Further price increase announcements are expected from other lamp manufacturers shortly.

Anuj Vasu, Havells-Sylvania’s senior strategic business unit manager for fluorescent products said: “The dramatic increase in the cost of this vital raw material has made it impossible for us to hold our prices at their current level. We aim to provide first class products without compromise on quality. Sharing the burden of the phosphor supply crisis allows us to continue to do that.”

China controls around 95 per cent of the world’s REE supply, so its strategic reduction in exports, coupled with a growing demand for REEs driven by the increased consumption of electronic consumer products and fast growing hybrid technologies, has put certain elements on the critical list. Havells said costs have increased ten-fold in just five months, driving production costs of fluorescent lamp and luminaire products steeply upward.

At present, there is no immediate alternative to Chinese sourced phosphors. Initiatives have been undertaken in countries such as the USA, India and Russia to expand mining and it is hoped developments in recycling will enable the industry to extract more of the elements from old equipment. Similarly, the large reserves of rare earth elements that were recently discovered by Japan under the Pacific Ocean floor are a long way from being extracted.

In a company statement Havells-Sylvania said: “We would like to reassure customers of our on-going support throughout this time. Price increases are rolled out giving as much lead time as possible, ensuring any impact to our clients’ business is minimised. We will continue to review the REE availability situation and adjust the price of fluorescent lamps and fixtures accordingly.”

You can read our report on rare earth shortages here and in the September issue of Lighting.

Recolight takes campaign to the airwaves

Recolight takes campaign to the airwaves | News | Lighting.

Recolight chief executive Nigel Harvey will be doing a series of radio interviews on 1 September to spread the word about CFL recycling.

The ‘radio day’ schedule, which has yet to be finalised, will mark the latest stage of the government’s phase out of traditional incandescent lamps and bring the message of recycling CFLs to listeners across the UK.

Commenting on the series of interviews, Nigel Harvey said: “There are approximately 133 million low-energy light bulbs currently in use in homes across the UK, and this is set to increase significantly with the phase out of the 60W incandescent. However, research shows that only 18 per cent of the British public know that they need to recycle them when they reach end of life.

“This activity is part of our on-going commitment to raising awareness of the importance of lamp recycling, and alerting people to the hundreds of facilities we have put in place across the country to make it as easy and convenient as possible for people to do so.”

Recolight has partnered with local authorities and retailers, including Homebase, Sainsbury’s and Robert Dyas to provide over 750 CFL recycling points across the country.

Since July 2007, Recolight has funded the recycling of more than 100 million Gas Discharge Lamps (GDLs), representing more than a third of a tonne of mercury which would otherwise have entered landfill.


Cooper Lighting and Safety certified under new scheme

Cooper Lighting and Safety certified under new scheme | News | Lighting.

Cooper Lighting and Safety has become the first emergency lighting manufacturer to gain certification under the new BAFE SP203-4 scheme.

Launched by British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE) in March 2011, the scheme provides independent confirmation that a supplier is competent to design, commission and maintain an emergency lighting system.

To satisfy BAFE’s requirements for SP203-4 certification, Cooper Lighting and Safety was assessed on the effectiveness of its quality management system and the competence of its technical staff.

Martin Mullin, managing director of Cooper Lighting and Safety, said: “When customers use a BAFE-registered supplier such as Cooper Lighting and Safety, they know that all work will be carried out in accordance with current emergency lighting standards. It also gives them peace of mind that they have complied with their legal responsibilities and taken every reasonable step to ensure the safety of the building’s occupants.”


Bridgelux breaks silicon wafer performance targets

Bridgelux breaks silicon wafer performance targets | News | Lighting.

Bridgelux has announced that it has broken its own target performance levels for commercial grade LEDs printed on silicon substrates.

The Californian company says it has achieved efficiencies as high as 160 lumens per watt for cool-colour temperature LEDs and 125 lumens per watt for warm-colour temperature LEDs.

Dr. Steve Lester from Bridgelux said: “The performance levels that we announced today are the highest lumen per watt values yet published for GaN-on-Si and rival the best commercial LEDs grown on sapphire or silicon carbide (SiC).”

The news is significant for the lighting industry because it could seriously reduce the cost of LED manufacturing. By Bridgelux’s calculations, the chip efficiencies in the trial would equate to end-user LED bulbs with an efficiency of 85 lumens per watt.

The company also claims there is a potential 75 per cent improvement in cost when comparing silicon wafers with current LED manufacturing costs.

Bill Watkins, Bridgelux CEO, said: “This key innovation is a game-changer for the industry, delivering dramatic reductions in the up-front capital investment required for solid state lighting and thereby significantly increasing the rate of market adoption.”

The company aims to make the technology available to the market within the next two years.

Philips announce loss of €1.3 billion | News | Lighting

Philips announce loss of €1.3 billion | News | Lighting.

Philips conducts LED lighting trial in St. Helens, UK


LEDs Magazine – Philips conducts LED lighting trial in St. Helens, UK.