TYLER – Ford Motor Co. has settled a lawsuit filed by
the manufacturer of light-emitting diode products, alleging the automaker
infringed on one of its patents for LED directional control technology in the
headlights of some vehicles.
The settlement with Longview-based Jakuta Diodes LLC
was reached after a lawsuit was filed in the Tyler Division of the Eastern
District of Texas.
Terms of the settlement were not released. Jakuta Brands is represented by Rasheed
McWilliams, Daniel Cotman and Obi Iloputaife, all of Cotman IP Law Group PLC,
of Pasadena, California.
The company has filed similar lawsuits in U.S. District
Court against General Motors and Honda as well as Acuity Brands, Teledyne
Reynolds Inc., Cree Inc., Soraa Inc. and Ledengin Inc.
According to court documents, Jakuta Diodes owns the patent
for a device and method for diffusing light. It was issued on June 27, 2000, by
the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The patent in suit is U.S. Patent No.
Ford manufactures vehicles that include LED headlamps that
feature the Crystal Diamond Light headlight sold by Jakuta Diodes. They have
been used in the F-150, GT and Fusion line of automobiles. The vehicles each use a method of diffusing light, including
providing a light source from which light radiates, namely a LED. The headlights
interrupt the light with a transparent member, including utilizing a lens with
16 precision optical surfaces and 80 facets.
Additionally, the lights also segregate a substantial
portion of the light to a plurality of channels within the member.
The lights also disperse the light transmitted in a widening
ray along the plurality of channels utilizing a lens. Jakuta Diodes claimed it would be irreparably harmed by Ford’s
alleged infringement of the patent for the light diffusion technology.
According to court documents, the claims of the patent are
valid and enforceable.
The company asked the court to require Ford to pay damages,
costs, expenses as well as prejudgment and post-judgment interest for the infringement
of the patent.
In March, attorneys for Jakuta Diodes filed a joint motion
to dismiss with prejudice. The companies agreed, as part of a settlement to be responsible for their own legal fees, costs and expenses, according to court records.