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Philips Settles Patent Suit With Topaz, Others Deny Allegations

In a report filed with the International Trade Commission, Philips Lighting is dropping all patent infringement claims against Topaz, saying both sides have reached a confidential agreement.  The filing says both Philips and Topaz have no further allegations pending, have assumed their own costs and fees, and have agreed to a settlement and termination of the suit.

In the same filing, Philips says it reached out to the other companies previously named in its patent infringement case in “reasonable, good faith efforts”, but those parties are denying all accusations.  Those companies include WAC Lighting, Satco, Feit Electric and Lowe’s Companies.

Philips and Topaz want to keep the negotiated agreement confidential because, “the highly sensitive nature of the negotiated terms that are redacted in the public version, and in view of the fact that the Non-Settling Respondents and MSi are competitors of the Moving Parties.”

WAC Lighting, Satco, and Feit Electric also filed their responses to the Philips patent infringement claims on Friday, December 8.  All strongly deny all accusations, while only admitting that Philips has in fact filed the patent infringement claim itself.  Some of the Satco responses to the complaint include, “Satco denies each and every allegation in the Complaint and Notice”, and “Satco denies that it has committed any unlawful conduct by importing LED lighting devices, LED power supplies, or other components thereof and denies that any of the foregoing imported by Satco into the United States infringe any valid, enforceable claim of the Asserted Patents”.

A key point of this patent infringement claim is Philips is asking for a 60 day cease and desist order, where the responding companies would not be allowed to import their products into the United States while the investigation continues.  Allegation number 18 in the Philips complaint is, “Upon information and belief, Satco produces abroad, sells for importation, imports, and/or sells in the United States after importation Accused Products. For example, Satco’s website states that the company’s product categories include LED lighting devices such as·LED lamps, and explains that Satco sells from various warehouses in the United States.  Satco responded by saying, “Satco admits that it produces abroad, sells for importation, imports, and/or sells in the United States after importation certain products which Philips has accused in the Complaint of infringing one or more claims of the Accused Products. Satco specifically denies that it has imported any product into the United States that infringes a valid, enforceable claim of the Asserted Patents, such as the LED lamps shown in Exhibit 22 to the Complaint. Satco denies the remaining allegations in Paragraph 18.”

WAC Lighting describes the Philips patent claim as repetitive, saying the case has been in litigation in U.S. District court for three years, and this filing is “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. It repeatedly responded to the allegations by writing, “Respondent denies that it is engaged in the manufacture, importation, sale for importation, or sale after importation into the United States of any product that infringes any valid claim of the patents asserted against Respondent in the Complaint. Respondent denies that “WAC’s LED lighting devices,” which are not defined by Complainants, infringe any valid claim of the patents asserted against Respondent in the Complaint.”

All sides in this situation are scheduled for a preliminary conference call on Tuedsay, December 12.  The schedule is also asking that all parties meet for a first settlement conference on or before Friday, January 12, 2018.

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