September 29, 2023   

5 Things to Know:  Week Ending September 30

2023 09 a signify current patent dispute lighting industry research report one source assoc dtb maryland.jpg

Recent developments in a Current - Signify patent lawsuit.  Plus, our take on some lighting industry "research reports".


Here's a roundup of some of the week's happenings curated to help lighting people stay informed.   


1.  Industry "Research Reports" contain hogwash

If you're a lighting person who browses industry news from time to time, or perhaps gave your email address to the wrong person, you may occasionally see remarkable headlines about lighting industry growth, which oftentimes are marketing press releases designed to sell you expensive "research reports."

This offer appeared in our feed today: For $3,480, one can purchase a lengthy lighting industry research report that likely includes many pages of sheer drivel. A research company that claims to produce expert research reports across hundreds of diverse business categories declares that the Metal Halide Ballast Market has seen notable growth in recent years, thanks to its extensive applications across various sectors.

They anticipate the Metal Halide Ballast Market will surge from $1.2 billion in 2023 to $1.6 billion by 2030, achieving a CAGR of 5.80%. However, none of the reputable figures in the lighting industry we're familiar with are predicting consistent growth or a 10-figure market size for metal halide related markets.


Another report recently offered by a different company for $3,500 delves deep into the Industrial and Commercial LED Lighting Market. It highlights twelve key lighting companies including Koninklijke Philips and General Electric — two companies that sold their lighting businesses years ago — as well as Illumitex and Deco Lighting, two companies that are no longer in business.


NOTE:  The original draft of this passage included multiple instances of profanity, designed to emphasize our utter disgust for many of these “research” companies, but we exercised better judgment and replaced the unsavory language with endearing G-rated terms like “hogwash” and “drivel.”


2.  Current vs. Signify update


Signify and Current are entangled in multiple legal actions over Signify’s claims of patent infringement by Current.  In the Current vs. Signify case filed in June, Signify has moved the court to dismiss the Case and also claims that Current used stall tactics to file the first case in a U.S. District Court jurisdiction of their choosing – which ended up being Boston.

Signify requested the Court to decline jurisdiction over the complaint filed by Current. This filing follows the Declaratory Judgement Act which Signify argues has been misused by Current for negotiation leverage amidst ongoing discussions. They claim that Current, despite pretending to negotiate, had planned litigation, utilizing the complaint to advantage their position and dictate forum choice. This was evident when Current allegedly filed the complaint hours before a crucial negotiation meeting on June 22, 2023, delaying its formal service to prompt a better licensing offer from Signify.

The case is in the early stages and is also subject to certain filings being completely sealed or partially redacted for confidentiality purposes.


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Above: Excerpt from Signify's memorandum in support of its motion to dismiss the case.


RELATED:  Original case filing »




3.  Acuity Brands 2023 results imminent


The Board of Directors of Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE: AYI) yesterday declared a quarterly dividend of 13 cents per share. The dividend is payable on November 1, 2023, to shareholders of record on October 18, 2023.

Additionally, Acuity Brands is expected to release its fiscal 2023 fourth-quarter and full-year earnings results on Wednesday, October 4, 2023, at 6:00 a.m. (EST), followed by a conference call at 8:00 a.m. (EST). Neil Ashe, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Acuity Brands will lead the call.

In fiscal year 2022, Acuity Brands eclipsed the $4 billion revenue mark for the first time in company history. Net sales for 2023 were originally expected to be in the $4.1 – 4.3 billion range, but the first three quarters of sales have adjusted expectations to a full year revenue attainment in the range of $3.9 billion to $4 billion.


Learn more »



4.   Fisherman patents LED lights,  KATC News I-Team investigates


In a recent report by Darcie Ortique of the KATC-TV ABC News I-Team in Lafayette, Louisiana, a local fisherman in Broussard is taking measures to enhance water safety by creating a safety lighting device for boats and kayaks, in light of the 636 boating fatalities recorded nationwide in 2022 by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The inventor, Brian Signorelli, has received credentials from the U.S. Patent and Trade Office for his lighting system designed to improve visibility in poor conditions. Fellow fisherman Shane Dugas commends the device for its utility in various waterways.






5.   Electrical & Lighting Agent converts to ESOP


On Friday, September 15, 2023, One Source Associates, a manufacturers' representative serving Maryland, Washington D.C., and Northern Virginia, announced its conversion to an employee-owned company through its establishment of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).

“We are very excited about this evolution of our company,” said President John McLoughlin. “We believe this new structure will position us for dramatic future growth and success. This structure builds upon the history of providing leading benefits to our valued employees, which we have done since our founding in 1939.”

One Source Associates is best known for being the Current HLI Brands and Lutron agent in the local territory.  The company became One Source Associates in 2004 when long time lighting agent Maryland Lighting joined forces with well-established electrical rep Downie Turner & Burress.