Agreement Between Distributor and Osram Opto SemiconductorsAmerican Microsemiconductor Gives Way


October 5, 2004... Osram Opto Semiconductors GmbH, Regensburg, has received a declaration from the American distributor, American Microsemiconductor Inc., Madison, USA that it will not import or market any LEDs that infringe Osram?s patent rights. After American Opto Plus Inc., American Microsemiconductor is the second distributor to recognise the significance of the patent portfolio of Osram Opto Semiconductors. This Regensburg-based subsidiary of Osram has reaffirmed its intention to vigorously pursue any such infringements of its property rights in the future.

This declaration by American Microsemiconductor relates to particular products supplied by the manufacturer Dominant Semiconductors Sdn. Bhd., Malaysia, against whom Osram Opto Semiconductors has filed a lawsuit with the ITC (International Trade Commission) in Washington for infringement of patent rights. Technologies for LEDs are involved here ? conversion technology and special designs for electrical connections.

Osram has a large number of patents that have been acquired over many years of intensive research and development work and has signed patent licensing agreements with major manufacturers such as Nichia and Rohm in Japan, Samsung Electronics in Korea, Vishay in the USA and Everlight and In addition, a further company in Taiwan recently gave an assurance that it would only use licensed products and would not be manufacturing.

The agreements between Osram and the two American distributors and in particular between Osram and the Taiwanese companies shows that infringement of property rights is no longer seen throughout the world as a trivial offence?, added Dr. M?ller. However, he also pointed Out that in view of the patent exchange agreement between Osram and Nichia, companies that have received a licence from Nichia are not automatically entitled to use Osram patents.

Background information

A suitable phosphor converter is used to convert the light from a blue emitting InGaN (indium gallium nitride) chip into white light. In the mid 1990s, Osram Opto Semiconductors was the first Manufacturer to develop these LEDs and bring them onto the market. They are used for backlighting displays, for example in mobile phones and dashboards.
A second group of patent rights relates to special designs for electrical connections such as those used for high-power LEDs. These designs are used above all in cars. Typical applications include lighting for car interiors and tail lights.

About Osram Opto Semiconductors
Osram Opto Semiconductors GmbH, Regensburg, is a subsidiary of Osram, one of the two largest lighting manufacturers in the world. It offers its customers solutions based on semiconductor technology for the lighting, sensor and visualisation sectors. The company has sites in Regensburg, San Jos? (USA) and Penang (Malaysia). In the 2003 fiscal year (to the end of September) its 3,300 employees produced sales totalling EUR 392 million. For more information go to


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