Munich, December 19, 2019: The Italian electronics group TCI Telecomunicazioni Italia S.r.L. has also won the appeal before the Federal Court of Justice in the patent nullity proceedings regarding a technology relating to switching converters, which is relevant for lighting systems using light emitting diodes (LEDs). The leading international manufacturer in the field of LED technology has won against the nullity defendant/appellant Lumileds LLC associated with the Dutch group Koninklijke Philips N.V. and Philips Lighting North America Corporation who joined the appeal proceedings as new patentee.
Following oral proceedings on September 24, 2019, the X. Civil Senate of the Federal Court of Justice pronounced on December 17, 2019 the dismissal of Lumileds LLC’s appeal against a judgment of the 6th Senate (Nullity Senate) of the Federal Patent Court of July 07, 2017 (file No.: 6 Ni 18/15) (file No.: X ZR 113/17). The reasons for the decision have not yet been published.
With the decision of the Federal Patent Court thus confirmed, the German part DE 602 11 526.4 of European patent EP 1 415 518 for a “Switching arrangement for operating at least one LED” now held by Philips Lighting North America Corporation was entirely declared null and void.
The disputed patent is part of a patent portfolio which is based on a licensing program designated in the relevant field as EnabLEDLicensing Program for LED Luminaires and Retrofit Bulbs of the Lighting Division of the Philips Group which is now run as an independent company operating as Signify N.V.. The patent nullity proceedings have been observed with great attention in the industrial sector, which was demonstrated in various requests for file inspection of third parties at the Federal Patent Court and the Federal Court of Justice.
In the proceedings before the Federal Patent Court and in the appeal proceedings at the Federal Court of Justice TCI was advised and represented by a team headed by Patent Attorney Dipl.-Phys. Dr.-Ing. Volker Jordan of the Munich patent law firm Weickmann & Weickmann. Dr. Ing. Francesco Chimini of the Italian law firm Jacobacci & Partners was the correspondence attorney in Italy.
TCI Telecomunicazioni Italia S.r.L., based in Saronno (Varese), Italy, is one of the leading international manufacturers in the field of LED technology. Founded in 1982, the company offers a comprehensive portfolio of technical components such as LED ballasts or LED converters for the lighting industry. In fiscal year 2017, the company with approximately 300 employees achieved sales of over 200 million euros.
Koninklijke Philips N.V. is a company with its headquarters in the Netherlands, which today focuses on health technology. The Amsterdam-listed group achieved worldwide sales of 18.1 billion euros in fiscal year 2018 and employs 80,000 people. The EnabLED Licensing Program for LED Luminaires and Retrofit Bulbs, founded in 2008, bundles a patent portfolio with around 2,900 existing patents as well as 400 pending patent applications.
Representatives of TCI Telecomunicazioni Italia S.r.L.
Weickmann & Weickmann PartmbB, Munich
Dipl.-Phys. Dr.-Ing. Volker Jordan, Patent Attorney, European Patent Attorney, Partner
Dipl.-Ing. Univ. Alexander Beck, Patent Attorney, European Patent Attorney, Senior Associate
Christoph Vischer, LL.M. (Univ. of Auckland, NZ), Attorney at Law, Partner
Jacobacci & Partners, Brescia (Italy)
Dr.-Ing. Francesco Chimini, Italian Patent Attorney, European Patent Attorney, Partner
Representative of Koninklijke Philips N.V.
Eisenführ Speiser PartGmbB, Hamburg
Jochen Ehlers, LL.M., Patent Attorney, European Patent Attorney, Partner
Federal Court of Justice, X. Civil Senate
Dr. Bacher (Chairman Judge)
Dr. Kober-Dehm (Judge)
Dr. Marx (Judge)
Dr. Rensen (Judge)
Eye Communications, Agency for Press and Public Relations
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Weickmann & Weickmann is one of the oldest and most renowned patent law firms in Germany. A team of 40 experts consisting of patent attorneys and attorneys at law as well as approximately 100 specialized assistants serve the clients of the law firm worldwide and comprehensively in the field of industrial property rights. Weickmann & Weickmann has proven expertise and experience in the application and enforcement of patents in the fields of mechanics, electrical engineering/IT, chemistry and life science as well as in registration and litigation proceedings concerning trademarks and designs.
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