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Nichia and Sharp Enter into LED and Laser Diode Patent Cross-Licensing Agreement

Nichia Corporation (head office: Anan City, Tokushima Prefecture; President: Eiji Ogawa; below, “Nichia”) and Sharp Corporation (head office: Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture; President: Mikio Katayama; below, “Sharp”) have entered into a patent cross-licensing agreement covering LEDs (light-emitting diodes) and laser diodes.

This cross-licensing agreement grants each other the right to use inventions related to LEDs and laser diodes covered by the vast number of patents in Japan and in major countries owned by the respective companies.

LEDs feature long service life and low power consumption, and are increasingly expected to be the strongest candidate for the next generation of lighting devices. At present, LEDs have been adopted mainly for use in backlights for mobile phones and PDAs, but in the future, they are expected to gain acceptance not only for general illumination applications, but also for use in large numbers in the backlights of LCD TVs and for automotive lighting.

At the same time, laser diodes have long been the key device used in recording and playback of optical disks such as CDs and DVDs. Today, as HDTV images become increasingly familiar, demand is growing rapidly for blue-violet laser diodes as indispensable devices in recording and playback of terrestrial digital broadcasts, and for Blu-ray Disc recorders and players.

Nichia developed the first high-brightness (1cd) blue LEDs in the world in 1993, and developed and commercialized white LEDs in 1996, which is the combination of blue LED and YAG phosphor. In addition, Nichia first in the world succeeded the pulsed-operation of the violet (405nm) nitride semiconductor laser diode. Nichia wishes to continue to be an innovation leader in this field, and to supply innovative products to customers around the world.

By entering into this cross-licensing agreement, Sharp and Nichia will be aiming to create even higher-performance LEDs and laser diodes, enabling the two companies to respond to rapidly expanding market demand.

Contact information;
Public Relations, Nichia Corporation