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Friday, April 08, 2005
Nichia settles "amicably" with US retailer


Sharper Image and Nichia do a deal over white LEDs rather than resorting to a courtroom battle.

Litigious LED manufacturer Nichia has stepped away from an impending courtroom battle with the US retailer Sharper Image. Nichia had filed a lawsuit last April alleging that some of the products sold by Sharper Image, such as flashlamps and booklights, infringed US patent 5, 998, 925.

The patent concerns white LEDs, and Nichia believed that Sharper Image had purchased devices used in its consumer products from an un-named third-party Asian LED manufacturer that had not signed a licensing deal with the Japanese company.

While Sharper Image denied those claims, it has now come to a "business arrangement" with Nichia. Awarded in December 1999, patent 5,998,925 details a nitride-based emitter and a fluorescent yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG) phosphor.


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