Industrial News

US company launches 337 investigation into Chinese LED companies


On March 27th, U.S. Ultravision Technologies submitted an application to the US International Trade Commission pursuant to Section 337 of the U.S. Customs Act of 1930, accusing 11 Chinese companies, including Absen and Alto Electronics, of exporting to the U.S. and importing U.S. imports. Certain Light Engines and Components Thereof infringe on its patent rights sold in the United States and requested the US International Trade Commission to issue general exclusion orders and injunction orders.

As Chinese LED industry association, the China Optics and Optoelectronics Association issued a statement on March 28 stating that this incident was a speculative act by individual US companies in the context of the Sino-US trade war. The association will “organize industry resources and strength and actively respond to it. This 337 investigation."

China Opto-Electronics Association also stated in the statement that Ultravision Technologies was established in the United States in 2010. The two patents it holds are mainly waterproof and have no substantive protection effect. This patent exports Chinese LED display companies to the United States. There are no substantive constraints and injuries. In fact, products with this patent feature were sold by many companies in the US market long before the patent application was filed, and therefore there is great doubt about the stability of the patent. At the same time, the patent does not belong to the core technology of LED display. Whether the related product technology of Chinese companies constitutes infringement is still to be implemented. The specific evidence collection and infringement determination of 337 investigation is a complex and lengthy process. The final result is uncertain.

Zhang Xiaofei analyzed with the first financial reporter that in the LED field, the 337 investigation initiated by the US company was the first to address patent infringement of LED semiconductor chips. Using Infringing Chips All lamp bead products and display screen products infringe patents when they are exported to the United States, and they will be subject to targeted sanctions. Therefore, in the U.S. market, consumers are generally allowed to purchase patented products. In addition, the mutual authorization of LED chip patents has been completed among European, American, Japanese and Korean companies such as taxation, OSRAM, Philips Lighting, Nichia, and Samsung.

“There have been 337 investigation incidents in the past, and it is not unusual for the lawsuit against LED products to be patented.” Zhang Xiaofei said that this is a precaution for foreign trade companies. Products exported to the United States must have US patent rights.

Wang Fei, director of LEDinside China Research, also told the First Financial reporter that the 337 investigation is one of the means used by US companies to weaken the competitiveness of companies in other countries. The LED industry will often encounter one or two years. The indicted company, if it wants to continue its business in the United States, either responds or reconciles.

Wang Fei said that in the Chinese LED companies involved in the 337 investigation, the proportion of Abbeson and Lehman exported to the United States was relatively high, exceeding 20% of operating income. The income of other companies in the US market was relatively small.

"With the globalization of Chinese LED companies, companies really need to pay more attention to the layout of patents." Zhang Hongbiao said.

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