The Future Prospect of LED Industry Developing Under Patent Layout
|關鍵字:||LED;專利;專利佈局;專利分析;專利訴訟;LED;Patent;Patent Layout;Patent Analysis;Patent Litigation|
發光二極體 (Light Emitting Diode，LED) 為半導體發光元件。由於發光二極體有壽命長、體積小、耐衝擊及不易碎裂等優點，適用性較傳統光源佳；而且發光二極體的體積小、亮度高、顏色的穩定性以及低電力消耗的節能特性，未來將會完全取代鎢絲燈泡和日光燈，成為主要的照明設備。現有的廠商們正不斷地積極佈局以求擴大市場佔有的版圖，而新進業者包括半導體、太陽能、面板等大型業者，正積極地跨進此領域，卻也發現許多的核心專利，幾乎掌握在美、日兩國等大廠，或是早先投入的台灣廠商之間。所以為求發展新商品應用的技術，新進廠商必需另闢研發的方向，在既有的專利資中，著手分析、佈局與迴避的策略，已是不可忽略的一環。
從專利數量來看，在 2008 年專利申請數量出現了峰值 555 件。2008 年以後，專利申請量出現一定幅度的下滑，我們認為 LED 技術已經成熟。從專利分佈國家來看，台灣之專利足以自傲。從LED產業之生命週期來看，全球LED 產業已經處於成熟期，在該時期 LED 產業各項技術功能發展成熟，企業賺取最多利潤，專利申請量與發明人數維持在較高水準，增速緩慢。以LED產業核心產業之專利進行分析，亦可以得出上述結論。
以專利為基礎，LED廠家曾進行過大量的專利訴訟。而觀察台灣廠商之LED專利，台灣白光LED 廠商雖然取得單一或部分專利權人之授權，但是仍然會有其他專利權人的提起侵權訴訟的風險，由於台灣廠商的經濟規模都不大，讓廠商個別的投入一定人力、物力、金錢在全球白光LED 專利權範圍與台灣廠商技術內容的比對工作，顯屬不可能，故台灣廠商應成立策略聯盟，彼此間競爭但又合作的方式，在世界市場上進行競爭。|
ABSTRACT Light emitting diode (LED) is a type of semiconductor that emits light. Featuring long service life, compact size and resistance to impact and cracking, LEDs are more suitable for lighting compared to traditional light sources. LED’s features of compact size, high illumination intensity, color stability and low power consumption make this element perfect for lighting in place of incandescent light bulbs and fluorescent tubes. Existing companies around the world are doing their best to expand their share of market, while new comers in semiconductor manufacturing, solar power and display panels are aiming at this field of business. However, they have found that many of the core patents are in the hand of major American and Japanese manufacturers or Taiwan-based firms that had a head start. In order to develop technology for the application of new products, new comers have to find an alternative direction of R&D, which makes it unavoidable to come up with a strategy of analyze, plan and avoid existing patents. The white light LED, among all others, features multiple parallel technologies, such as single, double and multiple phosphors. The techniques of manufacturing are complicated and patents dominate these multiple techniques and complex manufacturing processes. An analysis on patent application and layout from the LED technology point of view will benefit the future of LED firms. Looking at the number of patents, the number of patents filed reached its peak at 555 in 2008. Since then, the number of applications has displayed a steady decline, probably as a result of the maturity of LED technologies. When looking at the distribution of patents by countries, Taiwan is proud of the number of patents it owns. From the point of view of the lifecycle, the LED industry is globally reaching its maturity. In a time like this, the LED technologies are close to the maturity of development, the firms are making great profits and the numbers of patent applications and inventors maintain at a high level, but the growth is slowing down. The same conclusion is reached when analyzing the core patents of LED industry. Based on patents, LED firms have initiated a massive number of patent litigations. However, a close look at the LED patents owned by Taiwanese firms indicates that there is still the risk of infringement lawsuits by some patent holders despite the license obtained by Taiwanese firms from other patent holders. Taiwanese firms are mostly small in size, which makes it impossible for individual firms to invest a large quantity of manpower, materials and money on comparing the global white light LED patents and technical contents held by Taiwanese firms. For this, a good solution is a strategic alliance established among Taiwanese firms to improve the collective competitiveness in the worldwide market in a mutually competitive and yet collaborative manner.
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