Litepanels makers of led lighting is attempting to block the importation of LED product that it says violate its patents.  The patents are at best vague and at the worst an attempt to use lawyers make Litepanels overpriced untis the only alternative for LED lighting.  I will be exploring the problem with the patents in another article.  People need to stock up on LED lighting now.

Written by James Daugherty Date: 8/15/2011

Litepanels has filed a 337 complaint with the United States International Trade Commission to halt:

…the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain LED photographic lighting devices and components thereof.

This would stop all other LED video and photo lights from being sold in the US and effectively give Litepanels a monopoly on the market.

Link to full 337 Filing (Link)

Link to Complaint (Link)

Link to Patents (Link)

Here are the companies affected.

This concerned patent Nos. 6,948,823 and 7,163,302 ("Wide area lighting apparatus and effects system" and "Camera-mounted semiconductor lighting apparatus" respectively.)

Those patents list the Assignee as Contrast Lighting Services and the Inventors as Pohlert; Rudy G., et al. There are a total of 12 patents on file at the USPTO with the Asignee listed as Contrast Lighitng Services.

1 7,972,022 Stand-mounted light panel for natural illumination in film, television or video
2 7,874,701 Lighting apparatus with adjustable lenses or filters
3 7,604,361 Versatile lighting apparatus and associated kit
4 7,510,290 Stand-mounted light panel for natural illumination in film, television or video
5 7,429,117 Camera-mounted dimmable lighting apparatus
6 7,331,681 Lighting apparatus with adjustable lenses or filters
7 7,318,652 Versatile stand-mounted wide area lighting apparatus
8 7,163,302 Camera-mounted semiconductor lighting apparatus
9 7,140,742 Surface-mount semiconductor lighting apparatus
10 6,948,823 Wide area lighting apparatus and effects system
11 6,824,283 Wide area fluorescent lighting apparatus
12 6,749,310 Wide area lighting effects system

Here is a link to the list on the USPTO website.

Litepanels is owned my the Vitec Group a UK based company.

  • Videocom Brands
  • – Anton/Bauer
  • – Autoscript
  • – The Camera Store
  • – Litepanels
  • – Microwave Service Company
  • – Nucomm
  • – OConnor
  • – Petrol Bags
  • – RF Central
  • – Sachtler
  • – Vinten
  • – Vinten Radamec

Imaging & staging brands

  • – Avenger
  • – Brilliant Stages
  • – Colorama
  • – Gitzo
  • – Kata
  • – Lastolite
  • – Litec
  • – Manfrotto
  • – Manfrotto Distribution
  • – National Geographic (manufactured & distributed under licence)
  • – Tomcat

Services Brands

  • – Bexel

                     I think that this says it all

Update 8/16/2011

Creative Cow blocks mention of the legal action on Lighting Forum

I can only assume that Creative Cow is blocking mention of legal action by LitePanels because LitePanels is a sponsor.  If you check the news part of Creative Cow you will not even find a mention.  So if you don't want a bad review or anyone talking bad about your product then sponsoring adds at Creative Cow is the answer.

Go to NextWaveDV (http://www.nextwavedv.com/)  NextWaveDV broke the story and should get the credit.

Update #2 8/16/2011

If you have ever wondered why LitePanels cost so much then you won't be suprised that LitePanels spends quite a bit on laywers. I was able to find 5 major lawsuits filed all without any mention in any trade papers.  The pattern is find a week company to file lawsuit against get a resolution and use that resolution to attack other companies.
 

Link to First Lawsuit (Link)
Link to Gekko Lawsuit (Link)

Link to Lawyer (Link)

Here are just some of the cases.
Inovation through litigation. 

RFC Case Number: P-L07-239T File Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Plaintiff: LITEPANELS LLC ET AL
Plaintiff Counsel: SAMUEL FRANKLIN BAXTER OF MCKOOL SMITH
Defendant: THOMAS MCKAY dba VARIZOOM LENS CONTROLS
SWIT ELECTRIONICS CO LTD
Cause: 35:271 PATENT INFRINGEMENT
Court: Texas Eastern District Court
Judge: LEONARD DAVIS

RFC Case Number: P-S07-480L
File Date: Monday, October 15, 2007
Plaintiff: Swit Electronics Co Ltd
Plaintiff Counsel: Richard F. Cauley, Erick P. Wolf, Larry E. Severin of Wang Hartmann & Gibbs
Defendant: Litepanels LLC
Litepanels, Inc.
Cause: 28:1338 Patent Infringement
Court: Texas Eastern District Court
Judge: Leonard Davis
Notes: Case transferred in from the Northern Distict of California. Original case #: 07-cv-2645.

RFC Case Number: P-L07-508S
Court Case Number: 2:07-cv-00508-LED
File Date: Monday, November 19, 2007
Plaintiff: Litepanels LLC
Litepanels Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Sidney C. Capshaw III, Elizabeth L. DeRieux, N. Claire Abernathy of Brown McCarroll
Henry C. Bunsow, K.T. Cherian, Robert F. Kramer of Howrey LLP
Defendant: Sony Electronics Inc.
Sony Corporation of America Inc.
Sony Corporation
Cause: 35:271 Patent Infringement
Court: Texas Eastern District Court
Judge: David Folsom
Notes: Date terminated: 03/31/2008

RFC Case Number: P-L08-291S
Court Case Number: 2:08-cv-00291-TJW-CE
File Date: Monday, July 28, 2008
Plaintiff: Litepanels, LLC
Litepanels, Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Sidney C. Capshaw, Elizabeth L. DeRieux, Nancy C. Abernathy of Capshaw DeRieux LLP
Henry C. Bunsow, K.T. Cherian, Robert F. Kramer of Howrey LLP
Defendant: Sony Electronics, Inc.
Sony Corporation of America, Inc.
Sony Corporation
Cause: 35:271 Patent Infringement
Court: Texas Eastern District Court
Judge: Judge T. John Ward
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Charles Everingham

RFC Case Number: P-L09-554D
Court Case Number: 6:09-cv-00554
File Date: Thursday, December 10, 2009
Plaintiff: Litepanels, Ltd
Litepanels, Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Sidney Calvin Capshaw, III, Elizabeth L. DeRieux, D. Jeffrey Rambin of Capshaw DeRieux, LLP
Defendant: Dot Line Corp.
Infocus Camera & Imaging, LLC
Cause: 35:271 Patent Infringement

Court: Texas Eastern District Court
Judge: Leonard Davis
Notes:

 

Update with Video….