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Cree Charges Nichia with Patent Infringement
Sep 2000
DURHAM, N.C., Sept. 26 -- Cree Inc. has filed papers in the Eastern District Court of North Carolina charging Nichia Corp. and its affiliate Nichia America Corp. with infringement of US Patent No. 6,051,849. Nichia is charged with infringement on the US patent entitled Gallium Nitride Semiconductor Structures Including a Lateral Gallium Layer That Extends From An Underlying Gallium Nitride Layer. Cree claims that Nichia violated one or more claims on the patent by importing, selling and offering certain gallium nitride-based laser diodes for sale in the US. Nichia Corp., based in Tokushima, Japan, manufactures and sells, among other things, organic luminescent materials.
Cree obtained the patent after a 1999 agreement with North Carolina State University that gave Cree the rights to a number of the University's patents. Many of those patents included gallium nitride-based materials that are manufactured using lateral epitaxial overgrowth technology, which is useful in manufacturing certain laser diodes and other devices. The lawsuit seeks damages and an injunction against infringement. North Carolina State University is a co-plaintiff in the action.

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