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Judgment rendered by Tokyo High Court Substantially Invalidating Nichia Corporation's Patent (decided in Toyoda Gosei's favor)

October 02, 2001

Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. ("Toyoda Gosei")(President: Mr. Takashi Matsuura) previously brought a suit before Tokyo High Court against the "Trial Decision Rejecting the Demand for Invalidation of Patent (affirming the validity of patent right)" rendered by the Japanese Patent Office concerning the following patent, which is one of the patents relating to a gallium nitride-based blue LED which Nichia Corporation owns.

Tokyo High Court (Judge Nagai as Presiding Judge) rendered today (October 2, 2001) the judgment to the effect that the JPO's Trial Decision rejecting the demand for invalidation of patent is annulled (substantially invalidating the patent) and thus, our assertions are justified.

Please note that the subject patent is the fourth one of the infringement cases filed by Nichia Corporation against Toyoda Gosei. We consider that as a result of Tokyo High Court judgment rendered this time, Nichia Corporation's claims in the above-mentioned infringement lawsuit should be dismissed immediately.

NOTE
1. Subject Patent

Patent No. 2778405:

A gallium nitride-based compound light-emitting device having an Mg-doped p-type GaN contact layer above an Mg-doped p-type GaAlN clad layer in a gallium nitride-based compound light-emitting device of a double-hetero structure with p-n contact.

Concerning the subject patent, the Trial Decision rejecting the demand for invalidation of patent was given by JPO on December 6, 1999 and Toyoda Gosei brought a suit before Tokyo High Court against the trial decision made by JPO.

 
2. Grounds for taking the action demanding the annulment of trial decision

[Content of JPO's trial decision rejecting the demand for invalidation of patent]:

Since "having an Mg-doped p-type GaN contact layer above an Mg-doped p-type GaAlN clad layer" is not described in the cited references, the invention is novel and it is not possible for persons skilled in the art to easily invent it based on the cited references. .

[Assertions by Toyoda Gosei]

The Japanese Patent Office misjudged the novelty and inventive step in the invention, and therefore, the patent is invalid.

 
3. Judgment of Tokyo High Court

Concerning the JPO's Trial Decision to the effect that both the novelty and inventive step exist in the invention, Tokyo High Court rendered judgment that the subject patent is invalid by rejecting the JPO's Trial Decision on the ground that the invention has no inventive step, without even going to the extent of judging the novelty.