Intellectual property rights are a serious matter for companies that develop and distribute new products. When these rights are infringed upon by competing companies, the wronged company is harmed, and business litigation is often the result. Florida readers may know of Cree, the U.S. LED lighting developer. It has been engaged in patent infringement litigation with SemiLEDs, a Taiwanese company that manufactures LED chips and components. It was recently reported that the two have finally agreed to come to a settlement.
SemiLEDs has consented to the imposition of an injunction against it that will preclude the company from importing and distributing its infringing products within the U.S. after Oct. 1, 2012. The settlement also apparently includes a one-time payment to Cree of an undisclosed amount to cover past damages. Other claims involved in the litigation were dismissed, and the complete terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Understandably, companies like Cree value their portfolio of patents, and these products are often the lifeblood of a business. When the intellectual property rights of patents are threatened, business litigation may be in the best interests of the company to seek protection of its property. With the conclusion of this litigation between Cree and SemiLEDs, Cree has undoubtedly ensured that its intellectual property rights will be respected in the international markets.
Companies of all sizes in Florida and across the U.S. may face similar business litigation when patents they own are threatened by infringement. Violation of these intellectual property rights can have significant consequences regarding a business' ability to maintain a competitive place in the market. As a consequence, swift legal action may be necessary to protect those rights and continue to maintain an edge on one's competition both locally and globally.
Source: Optics.org, "Cree and SemiLEDs settle patent lawsuit," Matthew Peach, June 27, 2012