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LED Lighting- Key Patent Analysis: Remote Phosphor

LEDs, which are semi-conductor devices that convert electricity into light by the properties of compound semi-conductors, have higher energy efficiency and cost less for replacement due to longer lifetimes than existing lighting systems, and have high resistance to impact or vibration. Furthermore, LEDs have advantages in terms of energy saving and protection of the environment since they do not use toxic substances such as mercury, which give an impetus to their market entry as new lighting systems to replace existing lighting systems.

To facilitate replacement of existing lighting systems, there is intense competition to develop technologies for improving LED efficiency as well as low cost production. Among them, the remote phosphor method is adopted by many companies, since it can improve white LED efficiency by 30 to 40% compared with existing ones by minimizing heat generation and light losses. Some companies such as Intematix, and Cree, have occupied patent rights in advance. Especially the specialized phosphor manufacturer Intematix is taking aggressive steps to protect its technologies. The company, for instance, has uploaded a video that publicizes its intellectual properties and IP licensing. In addition, Cree and Philips have signed a mutual patent licensing agreement for LED technologies including remote phosphors. ABL IP as one of NPEs (non-practicing entities) is very aggressive in patent acquisition in this filed.

Since phosphors are one of the fields where a strong patent barrier has been established by a few companies, there are a considerable number of patents in dispute, and new patent issues continue to emerge. Considering major Korean, Japanese, and Taiwanese LED companies began R&D on remote phosphors somewhat late, fierce patent disputes are expected in the field of remote phosphor.

In this context, SNE presents analysis of the key patents of remote phosphors. From a population of 5,568 patents that have been published until October, 2012, in Korea, the United States, Japan, and Europe, total 356 patents have been selected as validated patents on the field of remote phosphor. Among them, 91 cases have been selected as key patents, for which technology flowcharts and patent summaries are provided. For top patent applicants such as Intermatix, Philips, and Osram, in-depth analysis is provided including technology flow charges and key patent analysis for each company.

In particular, according to the result of the patent analysis, ABL IP, which specializes in purchasing patents, is in the upper ranks. This suggests it is more important to prepare future patent disputes.

This report is expected to be a great help to examine the patent trend and related key patents in the field of remote phosphor and establish counterstrategies.

* Family patent: a set of patent taken in various countries to
protect a single invention, by a common inventor

Patent Index: objective Items to determine Importance of
patent based on foreign applications, patent citations, etc.

This report features

  • Analysis of 356 key patents worldwide and patent summaries of 91 key patents in total 175 pages
  • Analysis of overall patent trend, key patent trend, and patent issues
  • Technology flowcharts and analysis of patent issues of leading remote phosphor companies

Table of Contents

1. Patent analysis overview

  • Patent analysis background
  • Patent analysis scope
  • Patent analysis method

2. Technology overview

  • Remote Phosphor technology overview
  • LED phosphor industry trend

3. Overall patent trend analysis

  • Patent search result and selection of validated patents (country/applicant/ Top 10 applicants)

4. Key patent analysis - key patent analysis

  • Key patent analysis overview - key patent analysis
    • Method for Key patent selection
    • Result of key patent selection
    • Key patents of each company
    • Key patent technology flowchart
  • INTEMATIX - key patent analysis -key patent analysis
    • Key patent current status of key patents
    • Technology flow chart Technology flowchart
    • Key patent summary Key patent summary
  • CREE - key patent analysis
    • Current status of key patents
    • Technology flowchart
    • Key patent summary
  • PHILIPS - key patent analysis
    • Current status of key patents
    • Technology flowchart
    • Key patent summary
  • ABL IP -key patent analysis
    • Current status of key patents
    • Key patent summary
  • OSRAM - key patent analysis
    • Current status of key patents
    • Key patent summary

5. In-depth analysis of key patents of leading companies

  • INTEMATIX analysis of patented technologies
    • INTEMATIX - technology issue
    • INTEMATIX - patent portfolio
    • In-depth analysis of key patents
  • CREE analysis of patented technologies
    • CREE - technology issue
    • CREE - patent portfolio
    • In-depth analysis of key patents

6. Analysis of patent acquisition of NPE (Non-Practicing Entity)

  • Result of patent trend analysis and implications
    • Result of key patent analysis and implications

7. Conclusion/implication

  • Remote Phosphor - patent trend
  • Key technology trend of leading companies
  • Patent issue
  • Implication
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