Philips and Cree Ink Cross-Licensing Deal

As the technology behind light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for general lighting begins to mature, we're seeing more companies choose up sides and cut deals for access to the most promising technologies. Cree, Inc., Durham, N.C., and Royal Philips Electronics, Eindhoven, Netherlands, recently announced they've signed a comprehensive, worldwide patent cross-license agreement to further accelerate the growth of the LED lighting market.

Cree and Philips both hold “broad and substantial” opto-electronic patent portfolios that underpin the growth of their respective LED lighting offerings. This agreement gives Philips Lighting and Cree access to each other's patents relating to blue LED chip technology, white LEDs and phosphors (including remote phosphors), control systems, LED luminaires and lamps and LEDs for backlighting liquid crystal displays (LCDs), as well as the array of patents in the Philips LED Luminaire Licensing Program.

Cree's product families include LED fixtures and bulbs, blue and green LED chips, high-brightness LEDs, lighting-class power LEDs, power-switching devices and radio-frequency or wireless devices. Philips Lighting has been introducing its own LED products at an accelerating pace.

GE Partners with Rambus to Develop Flat-Panel LED Lighting for Commercial Market

In a move it says will accelerate LED product development, particularly in the promising area of flat-panel sources for architectural and general-purpose lighting, GE Lighting, Cleveland, signed a broad licensing agreement with Rambus Inc., a technology licensing company based in Los Altos, Calif. The deal gives GE the use of Rambus' patented lighting innovations, including its product reference designs and manufacturing process know-how. The initial focus will be to create a flat-panel LED lighting system for architectural and commercial lighting for global markets, the companies said.

“One of our objectives as a lighting innovator is to quickly launch leading-edge products that can accelerate the adoption of quality LED lighting solutions around the world in commercial and residential settings,” said Michael Petras, Jr., president and CEO of GE Lighting. “We want to provide customers with more unique LED innovations, and this agreement helps us get there faster.”

Rambus launched its Lighting and Display Technology business in 2009, taking advantage of a technology-licensing platform the company has developed over the past 20 years.