Austrian LED light manufacturer Eglo may continue to sell its LED lights in Germany, following a decision of the Regional Court Düsseldorf. Signify is thus still waiting on legal success before it can induct Eglo into its licensing program.
6 October 2022 by Mathieu Klos
Former Philips subsidiary Signify has failed on its fourth attempt to get Eglo to accept a licence to its large LED portfolio. On 20 September, Düsseldorf Regional Court dismissed Signify’s suit against Eglo for alleged infringement of EP 34 28 506.
According to the judges, the Austrian manufacturer’s lights do not infringe EP 506 (case ID: 4c O 15/21). The patent protects a lighting device that is especially important for LED lights with a nostalgic lighting effect; the market for such lamps is large and highly competitive.
However, Signify announced just days after the decision that it will appeal the ruling. For 14 years, the former Philips lighting division has operated licensing programme EnabLED, now boasting over 1,400 licensees.
Signify had only recently increased the program from 500 to 600 patent families. According to its own information, it has made an extended licence offer to all current and new licensees.
But not all companies accepted the licence, which resulted in Signify suing Eglo in 2021 for infringement of four LED patents in Düsseldorf. Even in the first round, things did not go well for Signify at the Regional Court Düsseldorf, when in October 2021 it dismissed a claim concerning EP 16 10 593 for lack of infringement (case ID: 4c O 61/20). Signify has appealed the decision.
In another case, the Regional Court Düsseldorf stayed the infringement dispute pending a decision from the Federal Patent Court. The case concerns EP 12 34 140.
Then, in April 2022, Düsseldorf Regional Court also suspended Signify’s actions for infringement of EP 18 69 365 due to the judges doubting the validity of the patents (case ID: 4c O 2/21).
On the other hand, Eglo has filed nullity actions against all four Signify patents at the Federal Patent Court. Signify has also filed lawsuits against Eglo in the US. According to an industry portal, lawsuits are pending here over nine patents.
Altogether, the Regional Court Düsseldorf has decided on four lawsuits, with the companies’ advisors remaining the same throughout. Vossius & Partner came into play for Eglo after winning a pitch, with a team led by Andreas Kramer.
Signify selected Martin Köhler of Hoyng ROKH Monegier to represent the company. The firm is also handling the appeal. Christof Keussen of Glawe Delfs Moll is providing technical support to Köhler and his team.
Thanks to his litigation experience, Keussen is probably the Hamburg patent attorney firm’s best-known partner.
Hoyng ROKH Monegier (Düsseldorf): Martin Köhler (partner, lead); associate: Valentin Wagner
Glawe Delfs Moll (Hamburg): Christof Keussen (patent attorney)
In-house (Hamburg): Hans Christian Schomerus (head of IP licensing)
Vossius & Partner (Düsseldorf): Andreas Kramer (lead), Christoph Eisenmann (patent attorney, both partners); associate: Leonie Dißmann-Fuchs
In-house (Pill): Michael Neuschmid (head of legal)
Regional Court Düsseldorf, 4c Civil Chamber
Sabine Klepsch (presiding judge), Sabine Wimmers, Tobias Schmitz