LED Tech Development LLC has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple. The patent infringement lawsuit concerns four granted patents that they claim Apple's iPad 3 and MacBook Pro infringe upon. Charles Lemaire, one of the original inventors noted on all four patents in this lawsuit has also been credited with patents for Lockheed Martin, Nuance Communications and other major companies.
LED Tech, whose place of business is Tyler Texas, has filed a formal complaint with the court in Delaware against Apple for patent infringement involving four of their patents that they describe as being "patents by assignment." The patents involved in the case include 6,095,661, 7,393,119, 6,808,287 and 6,488,390.
The company is claiming Apple's products utilizing pulse-width modulation signals to drive light-emitting diodes, include the iPad 3 tablet device and MacBook Pro notebook. According to LED, the facts learned in the discovery process show that the infringement of LED Tech's patents is or has been willful.
In each of the four patents under "Field of the Invention" we read the following:
"This invention relates to the field of lighting, and more specifically to a method and apparatus of controlling and powering a solid-state light source such as a light-emitting diode or LED, for a portable battery-powered flashlight."
I don't think that the iPad or MacBook could be found at Home Depot's flashlight department, even though LED Tech is suing Home Depot for selling flashlights based on two of the very patents being used against Apple.
Yet there is one of the four patents that present a powerful claim. LED Tech's patent 6,488,390 Claim one states the following:
"A portable video camera and illumination source system, comprising: a housing; one or more light-emitting diodes (LEDs) attached to the housing; a video camera imaging device attached to the housing; a control circuit that selectively applies a plurality of pulses from a source of electric power to the one or more LEDs; and a feedback signal coupled to the control circuit, wherein the control circuit changes a characteristic of each one of the plurality of pulses to control a light output characteristic of the LEDs based on the feedback signal."
Whether that's enough to win this case against Apple is unknown at this time. The original assignees that are listed on the patents in this case include PPT Vision Inc. and inventor Charles Lemaire who is credited with patents for PPT Vision, Lockheed Martin, Nuance Communications and other major companies (See note by Charles Lemaire in the comments below).
The case was filed in the United States Delaware District. No judge has been assigned to this case as of yet.
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