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  • Inventor Mulls Widening Case
Aug 2008
NEW YORK, Aug. 1, 2008 -- An inventor who holds the sole patent covering a method of producing LEDs and laser diodes widely used in consumer electronics is considering adding more companies to her patent infringement case in the US International Trade Court, her legal counsel announced.

Columbia University professor emerita Gertrude Neumark Rothschild conducted research in the 1980s and 1990s into the electrical and optical properties of wide bandgap semiconductors that has proven pivotal in the development of short-wavelength LEDs and laser diodes used in DVD players, cell phones, digital cameras, TVs, computer monitors and other devices.

She was issued a US patent in 1993 that covers a method of producing the semiconductors for LEDs and laser diodes in the blue, green, violet and ultraviolet end of the spectrum. Such LEDs and laser diodes have become increasingly popular in a variety of electronics devices because they use little power, are highly reliable and last a long time.

While her patent is not limited to gallium nitride-based semiconductor material in LEDs and laser diodes, the total market for all types of gallium nitride devices alone has been forecast at $7.2 billion for 2009, her lawyers said.

In March, Rothschild named 31 major electronics manufacturers in Asia and Europe in her infringement case, which sought to block electronics companies from importing infringing products into the US, such as video players using Sony's Blu-ray format, Motorola Razr cell phones and Hitachi camcorders. (See Block Sought on Imports)

Rothschild has since reached licensing agreements with a number of companies, including Sony, Sanyo Electric, Seoul Semiconductor, LG Electronics and Samung Electronics, and been approached by several not named in the case that have expressed interest in making a deal, her lawyers said. Details of the agreements were not released.

Rothschild's lawyer, Albert L. Jacobs, said they have been asked to review which other companies should be added to the ITC action, and while they have found several, "we remain open to discussions, both with respondents and those not yet in the action."

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That branch of science involved in the study and utilization of the motion, emissions and behaviors of currents of electrical energy flowing through gases, vacuums, semiconductors and conductors, not to be confused with electrics, which deals primarily with the conduction of large currents of electricity through metals.
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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