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  • Judgment rendered by Tokyo High Court Concerning Suit against Trial Decision for the Invalidation of Subject Patent Right,

Judgment rendered by Tokyo High Court Concerning Suit against Trial Decision for the Invalidation of Subject Patent Right,
In the Case Demanding Injunctive Relief against Patent Infringement, Brought by Toyoda Gosei against Nichia Corporation

March 22, 2001

Toyoda Gosei and others brought a case before Tokyo High Court against the "Trial Decision for the Invalidation of Subject Patent Rights" rendered by the Japanese Patent Office concerning the following patent which is one of the patents relating to gallium nitride based blue LED, which Toyoda Gosei and others hold.

Tokyo High Court (Chief Judge: Shinohara) rendered a judgment on March 21, 2001 to annul the Trial Decision for the Subject Patent Invalidation, and therefore, our assertions are justified.

This relates to one of the two cases concerning Subject Patent Rights, brought before Tokyo District Court by Toyoda Gosei against Nichia Corporation by demanding said injunctive relief against patent infringement. As such, the hearing in said case has so far been suspended. Now that the judgment was rendered to annul the aforesaid trial decision, we demanded the hearing to be reopened.

  1. Subject Rights
    Patent No. 2737053: Patent concerning the layer structure of the gallium nitride based compound semiconductor, having double-hetero structure LED with non-dope light emitting layer. 
    • In the Trial Decision of Invalidation rendered on October 26, 1999 by the Japanese Patent Office, the Subject Patent was held invalid, and Toyoda Gosei brought a case before Tokyo High Court against the trial decision, demanding the annulment of said trial decision. 
  2. Grounds for taking the action demanding the annulment of trial decision 

    [Contents of JPO's Trial Decision for the Invalidation]
     
    • As regards the Buffer Layer, nothing other than AlN is described in the original specification of the original application. 
    • The object and operation / working effect of the buffer layer is not well-known or self-evident to the persons with ordinary skill in the art. On the above grounds, the Japanese Patent Office rendered the decision for the patent invalidation by considering the divisional application as inappropriate. 

    [Assertions by Toyoda Gosei]

    • There are descriptions regarding the Buffer Layer.

    • Furthermore, the improved technology of GaN based compound semiconductor in which such buffer layer is employed, was well-known or self-evident to the persons with ordinary skill in the art at the time of the patent application, since the technology was discovered by Prof. Akazaki and others. 

      Therefore, the trial decision is erroneous and thus it should be annulled. 

  3. Judgment of Tokyo High Court
    • The buffer layer is well known and, the description of the buffer layer can be deemed as if actually described. The trial decision, therefore, is erroneous and accordingly is annulled.

  4. Future Procedure:
    • Based on the Tokyo High Court Judgment, hearing for reexamination shall be held by the Japanese Patent Office for the trial decision of the invalidation.