Patent licensing

Eglo and Vossius mount defence against Signify over LED lamps

LED light manufacturer Eglo is fighting four patent infringement lawsuits brought by competitor Signify in Düsseldorf. The former Philips lighting division operates a licensing program with many licensees. So far, the Regional Court Düsseldorf has dismissed one of the four lawsuits.

11 November 2021 by Christina Schulze

Signify, Eglo The LED patent dispute between Signify and Eglo revolves around a tunable white feature of LED lamps, such as those installed in many commercially available home improvement lights. ©Ramzi/ADOBE STOCK

Former Philips lighting division Signify has operated licensing program EnabLED for twelve years. Now it has over 1,300 licensees and 500 patent families. The Dutch Stock Exchange lists the company, which has filed infringement suits sporadically in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and Italy.

However, Signify sued Austrian LED light manufacturer Eglo in Düsseldorf in four cases. DIY stores in overseas markets sell the Eglo products.

Eglo sets the tone

Andreas Kramer, Vossius & Partner, Wiko patent licence

Andreas Kramer

In early October, the Regional Court Düsseldorf dismissed a claim concerning EP 16 10 593 for lack of infringement. Signify has appealed the decision. In a second case, the Regional Court Düsseldorf stayed the infringement dispute pending a decision from the Federal Patent Court. The case concerns EP 12 34 140.

This patent is considered strong, with the owner already successfully defending it at the EPO up to the appeal stage.

Industry giants such as Osram and Philips had attacked the patent. Later, Philips bought LED manufacturer Color Kinetics and set up the licensing program.

Both patents revolve around the adjustability of white tones in lamps, achieved via different controls. The technology is used in indoor ceiling lights. Both patents belong to the same patent family and have now expired.

In addition, two further infringement proceedings by Signify against Eglo are pending in Düsseldorf (4c O 2/21 and 4c O 15/21). These involve EP 18 69 365. In March, Signify extended the suit to include EP 34 28 506. The court has scheduled the main hearing in both cases for 5 April 2022.

Plaintiffs to the fore

For Eglo, these are the first infringement cases to become public. After a pitch, the company retained a team led by Andreas Kramer of Vossius. The firm already has experience in disputes against Philips in mobile phone proceedings.

Signify selected Martin Köhler of Hoyng ROKH Monegier to represent the company.

Martin Köhler

For Signify
Hoyng ROKH Monegier (Düsseldorf): Martin Köhler, Valentin Wagner
Glawe Delfs Moll (Hamburg): Christof Keussen (patent attorney)
In-house (Hamburg): Hans Christian Schomerus (Head of IP Licensing)

For Eglo
Vossius & Partner (Düsseldorf): Andreas Kramer, Hannes Obex, Christian Sandweg (patent attorney)
In-house (Pill): Michael Neuschmid (Head of Legal)

Regional Court Düsseldorf, 4c (O 61/20)
Sabine Klepsch (presiding judge), Sabine Wimmers, Lena Gräwe