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Supreme Court Judgment Substantially Invalidating Nichia Corporation's Patent Rendered (Final and Conclusive in favor of Toyoda Gosei)

March 11, 2002

Concerning the Blue LED patent, Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. ("Toyoda Gosei") (President: Mr. Takashi Matsuura) has won the suit, in which Toyoda Gosei demanded the annulment of the JPO's trial decision affirming the validity of the following patent that Nichia Corporation owns, final and conclusive in favor of Toyoda Gosei as follows:

With respect to the subject patent, Toyoda Gosei brought a suit before Tokyo High Court against the "Trial Decision Rejecting the Demand for Invalidation of Patent" rendered by the Japanese Patent Office on December 6, 1999.

Tokyo High Court (Judge Noriaki Nagai as Presiding Judge) rendered the judgment on October 2, 2001 to the effect that the JPO's Trial Decision rejecting the demand for invalidation of patent (affirming the validity of patent) is annulled (substantially invalidating the patent) and Nichia Corporation appealed to the Supreme Court against the judgment, and then Petty Bench No.2 of the Supreme Court (Justice Tsugio Kameyama as Presiding Justice) rejected the appeal on March 8, 2002.

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 the Supreme Court judgment rendered this time, Nichia Corporation's claims in the above-mentioned infringement lawsuit should be dismissed immediately by Tokyo District Court. 

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 GaAIN clad layer in a gallium nitride-based compound light-emitting device of a double-hetro structure with p-n contact.
   
2. 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.
   
3. Judgment of Supreme Court
 
The Supreme Court rendered judgment to the effect that "the final appeal of the subject case is dismissed. The subject case is not accepted for final appeal trial."