On July 30, the University of California filed a lawsuit against five major retailers, including Wal-Mart, Amazon, and IKEA, accusing their foreign suppliers of LED filament bulbs, infringing on the patents they owned, posing a “survival threat”.
Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target, IKEA and Bed Bath & Beyond are accused of violating four patents related to LED filament bulbs, which are 90% more energy efficient and have a longer life than conventional bulbs.
These patents involve the efforts of Professor Shuji Nakamura, a professor of the University of Santa Barbara, who is known as the "Father of Blu-ray" and the researchers.
"filament" LED bulbs are often referred to as "Edison" or "retro" bulbs because "filament" LED bulbs are similar to those invented by Edison and have visible illuminating filaments inside. According to court documents, "filament" LED bulbs have been widely used in the United States for the past five years and are expected to reach $1 billion in sales in 2019.
In a lawsuit filed with the Los Angeles District Court, the University of California sought unspecified damages, including royalties, and hoped that these retailers would sign a licensing agreement.
The school also asked the US International Trade Commission to investigate the behavior of these retailers, saying they did not ask their suppliers to respect the patents of the University of California.