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Litepanels Wins Patent Case, Infringing LED Panels Barred from US Without Licensing

01.19.13 @ 8:01PM Tags : , ,

We’ve been following this case now for a little while, but if you aren’t familiar with it, Vitec Group, who is the parent company of Litepanels, claimed to have patents on a number of LED technologies related to film/video lighting. The US courts have now confirmed that, and in order to continue importing and selling LED panels, these companies must pay to license and continue using the infringing technology. Cinescopophilia has the full scoop on the result.

Here is their opinion on the matter:

Contrary to the substantial amount of misinformation surrounding this case, the General Exclusion Order will not affect the importation of emergency lighting, cellular phones, automobile taillights, or LED bulbs themselves. It also does not affect other forms of LED lighting used for film, video or photography such as RGB and Remote Phosphor technologies. It simply prohibits the importation into the United States of LED lighting products for film, video or photography that infringe certain claims of the Litepanels patents without the patent holder’s consent.

What does it really mean to you? Not much, and never did. What can you expect to see happen to the Respondents? Well perhaps something similar to what has been imposed on two of the companies already.

F&V and Nanguang must now seek written permission from Litepanels to import into the United States or directly sell for importation into the United States any LED photographic lighting device. If F&V or Nanguang do bring in any LED photographic lighting device subject to written approval by Litepanels they will do so paying license fees and royalties to Litepanels.

So far it seems some of the major manufacturers have already complied and will be licensing the technology, but it’s unclear what will happen with the rest. The patents themselves are relatively broad, so I’m not sure what type of LEDs these companies could still make that wouldn’t go against the patents that have already been filed.


According to the above information, it will be mostly business as usual, unless you were only getting your panels from overseas from one of those companies above, and they decide not to pay Litepanels to bring the LEDs into the US. Whatever you think of the case, the company does own the patents, and the courts have ruled in their favor. If you were thinking about getting into the LED film/video lighting business, it’s probably going to cost a bit more than it would have previously, but the case is now settled, so we will see what happens down the road.

What do you guys think about the case? Do you think this means anything to you personally and your work or business?

Link: Litepanels Wins LED Case Everything Back To Normal — Cinescopophilia

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  1. Litepanels Attempts to Clear the Air Regarding LED Patent Infringement Case
  2. Your Next LED Light May Be from Litepanels (Whether You Like It or Not)
  3. Litepanels Unveils a New Budget Line of 1x1 LED Panels Aimed at Independent Filmmakers

COMMENT POLICY

We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

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  • Welcome the the new world order, where Apple has a patent on rectangular devices and Litepanels has a patent on LED lights.

    International patent law (well in this case US patent law only) has to change immediately! This is getting more ridiculous on a daily basis!

  • todd pacific beach on 01.25.13 @ 12:47PM

    No worries at all, Lite Panels. First, I will just go to ebay and purchase them from Hong Kong, THAT is not banned and good paying off the FTC or some other corrupt bureaucrat to make that happen. This is repulsive, how does a European country come into the United States and do this?! What kind of corrupt “Justice Department” would allow this? Oh, wait….

  • Patents used to protect innovators now it shuts them down. I guess you can market them as not very well designed flashlight or general interior lights and if the purchaser finds another use for them so be it. Just make sure you let the blogger know and they will market it for you.

  • Not much impact on consumers? Think again. Litepanels now has a monopoly. They can charge whatever traffic will bear. Worse, innovation in LED lighting will slow to a crawl. Without competition, litepanels can reduce their R&D investment, and slow product development to a crawl. The bottom line is, Litepanels will make lots of money, and consumers will see lower quality products at higher prices.

  • Buster Blakeney on 02.21.13 @ 4:34PM

    This is ludicrous, and it sucks big fat donkey balls. The assertion that we don’t care isn’t accurate in the least. I, for one, will be boycotting LitePanels, and buying – well, I guess “unergonomic flashlights” is as good a name as any. From eBay. From exclusively Chinese resellers.

  • Terence Kearns on 08.12.13 @ 11:55PM

    “What does it really mean to you? Not much, and never did.”

    What a load of bollocks. Who said that? Of course it means something to us. It means we cannot access check LED light panels which limits, particularly the indie, our ability to light on our budget. DUH!!!

    Regardless of what opinion you have about the merits of the case, it does have an impact. I was actually eying off some LED panels on ebay at the time but after this broke they were an order of magnitude more expensive. I still haven’t incorporated them into my budget now and may be looking at other options.

    So yes…. impact already…

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