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LighTimes: Phosphor Related IP Still Driving Force in LED Industry, According to Yole Development

17 Sep 2013

September 12, 2013…In the LED lighting patent landscape, patents related to LED phosphors and light converters are among the most fundamental and therefore most influential. Yole Development notes that hundreds of companies are involved in LED phosphor intellectual property (IP). According to Yole , most of the major LED companies made the list of the top patent assignees. However, Yole says that independent phosphor manufacturers such as Intematix and Mitsubishi are emerging as major forces in the IP landscape.

According to Yole, leading Taiwan based packagers are notably absent from the list of LED phosphor related IP innovators. Yole asserts that this weak IP position in the market explains the large number of litigations and one way, royalty or supply based license agreements involving those companies. Yole identified 15 major players that have fundamental IP related to LED phosphors.

Yole says some of the companies that have the most important IP related to LED phosphors include: Advanced Optoelectronic Technology (AOT), Advanced Technology Material Inc (ATMI), Agilent Technologies, AgiLight, Asahi, ASP Inc, Aurora Energie, Avago, Beijing Yuji, Bright LED, CCS, Changshu Yatai Fluorescent Material, Chimei Corporation, China Glaze, China Jili. Yole says that some of the important IP in the LED phosphor realm is also owned by: Beijing Technology and Business University, Changchun Institute Of Applied Chemistry, Changchun University, Changshu Institute of Technology, Chengdu University of Information Technology among others.

High performing silicates are now widely available as a YAG substitutes for yellow emission. Yole contends that the focus on new composition development and patent protection has mostly shifted toward red and green converters. Yole says that the market for those new phosphors and some of the most critical IP are currently dominated by Mitsubishi and Denka, which have acquired nitrides and oxynitrides licenses from NIMS (Nichia, Intematix, Mitsubishi, and Seoul Semiconductor). However, many other players are also developing nitride and oxynitride compositions, including Intematix, Beijing Yuji and Lightscape (now Dow electronic materials). Yole contends that new material families are also considered as promising phosphors including Tungstate and Molybdates as well as Fluorides championed by GE.