Philips and Lighting Science Settle Disputes, Revive Alliance

Lighting Science Group Corp. (LSG), Dallas, and Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands have settled all of their commercial and intellectual property disputes by way of a comprehensive agreement that revives their former commercial alliance. The agreement provides that trade in LED lighting products between the companies will be intensified, that LSG takes out a royalty-bearing license to the Philips LED-based luminaires and retrofit bulbs licensing program, and that Philips will make a limited equity investment in LSG.

Zach Gibler, a lighting industry veteran who became LSG's CEO in June, said Philips made a limited investment of about $5 million in Lighting Science but not a controlling investment. “We buy LEDs from them and we sell products to Philips,” he said. “We had been doing that even in the course of the lawsuits. We maintained that commercial relationship, and one of the elements of the settlement is to strengthen that relationship. We are thrilled to have the lawsuits behind us. It was a distraction for the company and didn't really allow us to focus on our primary mission — developing very high-efficiency solid-state lighting technologies.”

Gibler said LSG will now be able to focus on developing new solid-state lighting products for street lighting, parking garages, industrial facilities and other applications with high maintenance costs and where the lighting is for long periods of time.

“We have a significant focus on maintaining and building our intellectual property,” he said. “We have a very nice of portfolio with patents issued and patents pending. LSC is a relatively young company, although it is made up of companies that have been in the lighting space for quite some time. What makes us unique is that we acquired four companies over a 14-month period starting in June 2007 with unique technological expertise in certain parts of the LED value chain — thermal management, microelectronic devices, semiconductor optimization and optics. Those four companies had different expertise from a technology standpoint and we coupled that with people who had significant expertise in the lighting industry in terms of application and understanding the market space itself.”

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