Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law

School sues retailers over patent infringement

When a person or company in New Jersey or anywhere else in the United States comes up with a new idea, it may be possible to protect it. According to the University of California, five major companies have infringed on patents related to LED light bulb technology. Amazon, Walmart and Ikea are among the companies that were named in the lawsuit. The lawsuit is asking that the retailers enter into licensing agreements to use the filament LED bulb technology.

According to the school, they were created thanks to research done by professors at the school. One of those professors won a Nobel prize for physics in 2014. In addition to the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, a complaint was made to the U.S. International Trade Commission. The complaint says that companies that supplied products to the defendants were not required to abide by the existing patents.

Filament LED bulbs use about 10% of the energy of a typical bulb and can last for much longer as well. It is expected that sales of filament LED bulbs will be roughly $1 billion in 2019. None of the retailers named in the suit commented on the matter. According to the lawyer for the plaintiff, it is the first known patent enforcement case against an entire industry.

A person or entity who has a patent or trademark generally has exclusive rights to an idea or other types of intellectual property. Typically, other parties are only allowed to use that property with permission of the patent or trademark holder. Otherwise, an infringing party may owe financial damages to the victim of such infringement. An attorney may assist a victim of intellectual property theft during settlement talks outside of court or during intellectual property litigation.

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Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law - Intellectual Property

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