February 13, 2024   

Legal Wars End:  Signify & Current Settle Trio of Lawsuits

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Settlement on the horizon as legal tensions ease between lighting giants


In a significant turn of events, the longstanding legal feud between two of North America's lighting behemoths, Signify and Current, is nearing its conclusion. The rivalry, which has been characterized by a series of legal battles since mid-2023, saw a pivotal moment last week when a judge dismissed Current's preemptive federal lawsuit in Massachusetts, citing bad faith and an attempt to gain negotiation leverage.

This dismissal has seemingly catalyzed a wave of settlements, with indications that the three remaining lawsuits—two in Delaware and one before the International Trade Commission (ITC)—are approaching resolution. A recent ITC filing revealed that the parties have settled their dispute through mediation, which means they've negotiated a resolution outside of court.


The conflict traces back to June 2018 when Signify accused Current of infringing upon its LED lighting patents, urging the latter to join its LED patent licensing program, EnabLED. Despite years of negotiations, the companies failed to reach an agreement, leading to a series of legal confrontations. Current's attempt to seek a declaratory judgment in Massachusetts was met with Signify's counteractions, filing three complaints for patent infringement.

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With the Massachusetts case dismissed, Current's leverage weakened, potentially aligning the outcomes with Signify's initial objectives. A spokesperson from Signify confirmed to Inside Lighting that a settlement in principle for the Delaware cases has been reached.  Formal filings in the coming days and weeks are expected to conclude the disputes officially. The settlements are anticipated to involve some form of licensing agreement, likely under Signify's EnabLED program, marking a significant shift from Current's initial resistance to Signify's patent portfolio approach.

This series of settlements not only marks the end of a contentious chapter between Signify and Current but also highlights the complexities of patent rights and licensing in the competitive lighting industry.