October 11, 2023
Signify Buys Key Assets of Universal Lighting Technologies
ULT product designs, patents and trade names bolster Signify portfolio
Following our report yesterday regarding Signify's acquisition of assets from the bankrupt Douglas Lighting Controls for $250,000, we have received new information. Signify has also expanded its intellectual property portfolio by purchasing assets from Universal Lighting Technologies (ULT), another subsidiary of the now-defunct Universal Douglas that was abruptly shut down in March 2023. Signify has confirmed this acquisition.
In a transaction concurrent to the August acquisition of specific Douglas Lighting Controls assets, Signify secured a deal to obtain select intellectual property from ULT, mainly product designs, patents and trade names. The terms of this agreement remain undisclosed.
Signify's Advance brand has long competed with ULT in product categories such as LED drivers, LED modules, and fluorescent ballasts from years past. Acquiring patents and product designs in these areas is a strategic move that could offer long-term benefits for Signify and Advance.
According to sources familiar with the matter, here's what Signify acquired:
Numerous patents from ULT: While the exact number and details of specific patents are yet to be verified, these intellectual properties bolster Signify's already robust patent portfolio, especially in the LED driver domain.
Technical assets of various ULT products, notably including the ULT LED driver product families. This grants Signify a wider access to various technological capabilities and the potential to develop or improve upon existing products.
Trade name of Universal Lighting Technologies: This move provides Signify the strategic option to leverage the known brand name of ULT in future product rollouts or business endeavors.
It is worth noting, however, that while Signify has acquired a vast range of technical and intellectual assets from both ULT and Douglas, there's a conspicuous absence of physical inventory or equipment in the deals. This fuels speculation that the primary motivation for these acquisitions may lean more towards patent licensing than the reintroduction of ULT or Douglas products under one of Signify’s many brands.
Considering Signify's history and its statements to inside.lighting about acquiring "intellectual property" from both ULT and Douglas to "support our market leadership position," it seems probable that the company primarily aims to fortify its EnabLED licensing program with the newly acquired patents.
In light of these recent acquisitions, stakeholders will be closely observing Signify's next steps. Whether it's to fend off or initiate potential patent litigations, streamline their EnabLED licensing program, or explore new product avenues, one thing is certain - Signify is making decisive moves to cement its leadership position of intellectual property assets in the lighting domain.
At press time, the inside.lighting I-Team was unable to verify if the longtime toll-free phone number for Universal Lighting Technologies, 1-800-BALLAST, is available for sale.