Cree and Epistar Sign Cross Licensing Agreement for Certain LED Chip Patents

The contentious patent battle related to LED chips between Cree and Epistar is apparently over after the companies signed a worldwide LED chip patent cross-licensing agreement. Cree acknowledged that both companies hold “broad and substantial” LED chip patent portfolios that are important for fabricating blue LEDs. Blue LEDs are the foundation of white LEDs found in the majority of LED lighting products around the world.

According to the terms of the agreement, each party receives a license to the other’s nitride LED chip patents and is also granted certain rights to non-nitride LED chip patents.  Over the term of the agreement, Epistar will pay Cree a licensing fee and royalty payments.

“Cree’s pioneering technology and resulting broad patent portfolio has significantly advanced performance in LED and LED Lighting products. Cree is pleased to enter into this LED chip license agreement with Epistar, a leading chip innovator and manufacturer of LEDs used by packagers and lighting companies,” said Chuck Swoboda, Cree chairman and CEO. “This agreement underscores both companies’ commitment to accelerating the adoption of LED lighting while respecting the value and importance of international intellectual property laws.”

“The patent license agreement we have achieved will help us to accelerate the R&D activities for creating new innovation. In addition, it is a clear indication of the strength of our LED chip patent portfolio and our desire to further the growth of the LED lighting market,” stated BJ Lee, chairman of Epistar.  “By entering into this cross-license agreement with Cree, Epistar is able to provide LED chips that ultimately benefit our customers across the world.”

Other terms of the cross-licensing agreement were not disclosed.  The agreement does not transfer ownership of any of the technology between the companies.