Nichia have filed a patent infringement lawsuit in Tokyo District Court seeking an injunction and compensatory damages against IPF Corporation, a Japan-based distributor of automotive aftermarket parts. Nichia accused IPF of selling so-called “LED bulbs” that infringe Nichia’s patent
IPF describe their X2 series of “LED bulbs” as incorporating ” an optimum LED chip developed by Lextar Electronics”. Nichia say that LED chip infringes Nichia’s patent JP5526782 related to LED package structure—the English-language equivalent European patent is available online as EP1437776B1. According to Nichia, the technology described in the patent is used in the field of high power LED, wherein the company have relevant patents registered in Japan, Taiwan, the U.S., China, South Korea, Germany, the U.K., France, Netherlands, Italy, Russia, and India.
“LED bulbs” designed to replace halogen headlight bulbs are popular aftermarket items, but all of them so far completely violate UN and U.S. lighting regulations and none of them so far meets any legitimate technical standard for such devices—in part because working groups within SAE and GTB are still in the early-to-middle stages of devising such standards. Significant technical challenges remain before this sort of “LED bulb” can take real steps toward legitimacy, with or without patent-infringing LED chips.