San Jose, CA -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a ruling on May
22, 2009 that rejected Epistar's appeal of the International Trade Commission's (ITC's)
interpretation of the claims in Philips Lumileds' U.S. Patent No. 5,008,718 (the '718
patent). In affirming the ITC's interpretation, the Federal Circuit noted that "Epistar does
not challenge the infringement determination under the [ITC's] claim construction." Thus,
the ITC's ruling that Epistar infringes the ‘718 patent has now been confirmed on appeal.
The Federal Circuit also upheld the ITC's decision that "Epistar (as a successor to UEC)
may not contest validity of the '718 patent with respect to the UEC products that it
inherited in the merger" between Epistar and UEC, but overturned the ITC's ruling that
Epistar could not contest validity with respect to other products. Philips Lumileds
remains confident that any further invalidity challenges by Epistar to the '718 Patent will
be rejected. This confidence is supported by the rulings of U.S. District Court Judge
Claudia Wilken of the Northern District of California in an earlier case against UEC
granting Philips Lumileds summary judgment on multiple different validity challenges to
the '718 patent claims.
A change in the law after the ITC decision in this matter called into question the ITC's
long-standing practice of issuing Limited Exclusion Orders that bar importation of
downstream products manufactured by third parties not named in the case. The Federal
Circuit has vacated the existing Limited Exclusion Order and remanded the case back to
the ITC for further proceedings. Philips Lumileds had earlier filed a petition with the ITC
requesting that the Limited Exclusion Order be converted into a General Exclusion Order
that, even after recent changes in the law, could bar the same non-party downstream
products covered by the original Exclusion Order.
In addition to the ITC proceeding, Philips Lumileds has a pending patent infringement
suit against Epistar in the U.S. District Court before Judge Wilken asserting infringement
of not only the '718 patent, but also two other Philips Lumileds patents. The Federal
Circuit's decision paves the way for Philips Lumileds' success in that pending dispute.