February 6, 2024
Feit Files Patent Lawsuit Over White LED Filament Technology
Photo: Feit Electric
LED filament technology is at the center of another legal controversy
The landscape of LED filament technology used in LED lamps continues to undergo significant scrutiny, as legal disputes over patents become increasingly prevalent in the lighting industry. A recent lawsuit filed by LED lamp maker Feit Electric against Ledvance highlights the ongoing tensions surrounding this technology.
LED filaments are a core component in the design of many clear and decorative LED lamps, mimicking the look of traditional incandescent bulbs while offering the energy efficiency of LED technology. Feit Electric's contention in this recent lawsuit primarily revolves around the color of the filament when the bulb is off, known as the "off-state" color. Traditional LED filaments appear yellow/orange in their off state due to the phosphor coating used to convert blue LED light into white. In contrast, Feit Electric's technology allows for a white off-state appearance, enhancing aesthetic appeal to some and blending more seamlessly into various decors.
California-based Feit Electric flexed its intellectual property in the area of white LED filament with a press release in late 2023 which may have been foreshadowing the legal lawsuit that has now been filed against LED lamp rival Ledvance.
Ledvance, with a manufacturing heritage dating back to the era of traditional glass and gas lamps in Versailles, Kentucky, under the former brand OSRAM Sylvania, finds itself at the center of this legal dispute which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Eastern Kentucky.
[UPDATED Feb 9] In a statement, LEDVANCE shared, "LEDVANCE respects the intellectual property of other companies and LEDVANCE will vigorously defend itself against improper claims of infringement."
Feit Electric has previously engaged in LED filament legal battles with other companies, such as Korean components maker Seoul Semiconductor, which aggressively pursued Feit in 2020 and 2022. Those disputes did not involve the white filament specifically and focused on the technical details of LED filament design, including the materials and processes used to achieve specific lighting effects and efficiencies.
Feit Electric's action against Ledvance involves claims of patent infringement on technologies that enable the white off-state appearance of LED filaments. The complaint claims that Ledvance's products infringe upon Feit Electric's patents, seeking remedies including injunctions against further infringement and monetary damages.
Ledvance is expected to refute Feit's claims. Court records indicate that they have not yet been served with the lawsuit, but once they are, Ledvance will have 21 days to respond.