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Philips Patent Lawsuit Moves Forward

Philips Lighting North America and Philips Lighting Holding B.V. will be allowed to move forward with a patent infringement case against five lighting companies, including two NAED member companies, Satco Products, Inc. and Wangs Alliance Corporation (WAC Lighting).  An administrative judge with the International Trade Commission has ordered three companies based in Hong Kong to provide documents and be deposed about the products it makes for the companies Philips is alleging patent infringement.

In the February 6, 2018 ruling, Administrative Law Judge Dee Lord said, “Complainants seek to obtain documents and deposition testimony from these three (Forever Bright Lighting Company Ltd., Crayoned International Ltd., and Jiawei Technology DK Ltd.) entities in Hong Kong, which have been identified by Respondents as manufacturers of products at issue in this investigation.  There being no opposition and for good cause shown… motions are nearby GRANTED.”

Philips Lighting filed the patent infringement suit against Feit Electric, Lowe’s Companies, Inc., MSi Lighting, Satco Products, Inc., WAC Lighting, and Topaz Lighting Corp.  Topaz has since ended its suit with an undisclosed settlement.

Philips is asking the International Trade Commission to issue a cease and desist order against the remaining companies during the investigation.  WAC Lighting calls the suit a “repetitive action”, since the case is already being heard in district court.  WAC Lighting goes on to call this, “the latest step in a years-long aggressive campaign by Complainants to force lighting companies such as WAC Lighting to pay onerous and improper royalties for a large portfolio of patents that are likely invalid or not infringed.”  WAC Lighting also fired back at Philips, accusing them of filing these accusations to increase the cost of LED lighting and create a barrier from further acceptance of LED products.

A deadline to have the Hong Kong-based companies provide information and be deposed has not been set.

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