What Hath Our IoT Lighting Doth Wrought?
... Last time around, "News Staff" offered some tie-together insights on why we might expect lighting to find itself at as the eyes and ears of the IoT. Makes sense. It has a good view of the space, constant electricity (and if not, it's a pretty correctable decision), and we're...
full story at the bottom of the current news page, or
if this is a back issue, go here...
USPTO Scraps Sensitive Application Warning System in Favor of Public Scrutiny
LIGHTimes News Staff
March 3, 2015...The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has ended a secret
program that they had operated for twenty years that aimed to "alert leadership
when a patent might issue on a sensitive matter." The USPTO only recently
acknowledged the program's existence.
For the past 20 years the program known as the Sensitive Application Warning
System placed a small percentage of patent applications (about .04 percent)
into an indefinite legal limbo that critics claim effectively stalled patents
from being approved. In the high stakes game of patent rights, having to wait
indefinitely to see if a patent is approved could cause a loss of funding and
Those applications that the SAWS program chose through the use of a vague
and over-encompassing list of criteria were twice as likely to be rejected,
according to a Yahoo news article.
The USPTO pointed out on their website that, "today, unlike when the
SAWS program was created, most applications are published eighteen months after
submission, exposing them to public scrutiny and the potential for third-party
submissions of prior art."
Following an internal review of the USPTO's SAWS program the USPTO said in a
statement on their website, "Upon careful consideration, the USPTO has
concluded that the SAWS program has only been marginally utilized and provides
minimal benefit." After completing the review, the USPTO decided to retire the
SAWS program stating, " Any applications currently in this program will now
proceed through prosecution absent any additional SAWS-related processing."
In the statement the USPTO said, "the Agency will seek public input as
part of its ongoing Enhanced Patent Quality Initiative on whether there were
any quality-enhancing features of the SAWs program that are not already
captured through the typical examination and prosecution process."
Law firm, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, representing several high
tech companies including Google and Apple, Twitter, and Oracle filed a Freedom
of Information request to get information about the criteria of the SAWS
The information that they got was 50 pages of criteria that included
everything from inventions that received unwanted publicity to inventions that
pertained to biological warfare.
Among the most perplexing of the criteria outlined over about 50
pages are "applications that are pioneering in scope."
The USPTO seems to be saying in their statement that now that most patents
applications are open to public scrutiny after about 18 months, much of the
SAWS program is not necessary. The USPTO hopes that the public will come
forward as part of its Enhanced
Patent Quality Initiative to suggest parts of the SAWS program that at are
not already captured through the typical examination and prosecution
What this means to the LED and LED lighting industry is unclear, but if it
means less time for patent approval or rejection while maintaining the quality of the patent system is probably a good thing.
Sharp Eyes Closing LED Production Factory as Part of Restructuring
March 3, 2015...Sharp Electronics Inc. has suffered stiff competition in the electronics
market. Severe losses have plagued the company especially in its LCD display
and solar panel businesses. As a key part of its restructuring plan, Sharp
electronics reportedly plans to reorganize electronic component manufacturing,
according to an article
Among the planned business changes, Sharp intends to close the Mihara plant
that makes LEDs. While the decision to close the LED production facility is not
final, such a shut down would be the company's first closing of a major factory
Other businesses such as LCD displays and solar panels, have faced stiff
competition. Other potential restructuring measures could include exiting or
selling the company's solar panel business, and closing four electronic
component plants in Fukuyama.
Philips Moves Forward with Plans to Sell Combined Lumileds and Automotive Lighting Businesses and Split Company
LIGHTimes News Staff
February 27, 2015...Philips is reportedly moving ahead with plans to Sell Combined Lumileds and
Automotive Lighting Businesses, according to a recent earnings
conference call. The company also gave an update on the progress of the
sale and the plans to split the company into one business that focuses on
health technology and another that focuses on lighting solutions.
During Koninklijke Philips NV (Philips) recent earnings conference call,
Frans van Houten, the company's CEO said that the LED lighting business
continues to grow. He stated, "In Lighting, we saw continued strong
double-digit growth and improving gross margins in our LED-based portfolio,
especially in LED lamps, despite the strong price erosion."
He noted that the company's 20% revenue increase in LED lighting partially
offset the company's 14% decline in conventional lighting.
Frans van Houten said that the company's Professional Lighting Solutions
business was not as profitable as the company had hoped.He said, "As you
know, we had expected the turnaround of our Professional Lighting Solutions
business in North America to deliver profitable growth in the fourth quarter on
the back of good order book coverage. However, despite sequential improvement
in quoting and pipeline activity across segments, we were not yet able to
return to sustainable growth in Q4 yet, as a number of projects shifted out
He reiterated the company's previously announced plans to sell the combined
Lumileds and Automotive Lighting businesses saying, "We are actively
discussing the sale of the combined Lumileds and Automotive Lighting businesses
with potential buyers. We received a number of non-binding bids in December,
and expect to receive binding bids before the end of Q1. As such, we are
confident that we will complete a transaction in the first half of 2015.
He also explained the direction that the company was taking in the future,
and he reemphasized the company's plans to separate into two business
entities."We are determined in our plan to separate Philips into two
standalone companies, each one better positioned to capitalize on the
highly-attractive opportunities in both HealthTech and Lighting Solutions
markets. As indicated already, the separation process is expected to take
approximately 12 to 18 months. We have now informed that we currently estimate
total separation cost in 2015 to be in the range of EUR300 million to EUR400
Everlight Electronics Reportedly to Merge with Edison Opto
March 3, 2015...Everlight Electronics aims to compete with China-based LED packaging
companies. Everlight reportedly plans to merge with LED packaging specialist
company Edison Opto of Taiwan, according to a Digitimes article, which
cited industry sources. The merger is to rapidly increase its LED packaging
capacity to compete with China-based LED packaging firms. Less than 20% of
Everlight's consolidated revenues come from LED lighting. For this reason,
Edison Opto's product lines are complimentary.
Philips LED Lighting Installed in Costa Cruises' Ships
LIGHTimes News Staff
February 26, 2015...Royal Philips of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, has completed the upgrade of
10 ships for Costa Cruises. Over 300,000 Philips LED lights were installed,
reducing the energy required to power the ships lighting by 60%. Aboard ships,
diesel motors generate all of the electricity. According to Philips, the
lighting renovation across 10 ships enables total annual savings of 30,000
tonnes in CO2 emissions. The switch to energy efficient LED technology is the
latest step towards Costa Cruises’ goal to slash its CO2emissions
according to targets it set out in its Sustainability Report published in
Stefania Lallai, Costa Cruises Sustainability Director, commented,
“This initiative between two companies engaged in providing solutions
for the mitigation of the impact on the environment represents another step
forward by Costa Cruises in the field of sustainability. The lighting project
with Philips is an important initiative undertaken to lower the CO2 impact
generated by our fleet and to reduce energy consumption on
Philips pointed out that its MasterLED spots and CoreProLED tubes, which
were installed on the cruise ships, emit excellent quality white light that
does not irritate or tire the eyes. Moreover, the LED lighting lasts longer (up
to 40,000 hours.
Back in 2013, Philips completed the relamping of three ships. The lighting
of the remaining seven ships completely upgraded by December 2014. Philips is
taking part in the LED lighting renovation of Costa Cruises’ headquarters
in Genoa, Italy.
“Travel by sea already has the lowest carbon footprint compared to
other forms of transport in the wider tourism industry,’’ said
Nicola Kimm, head of sustainability for Philips Lighting.
‘’Think of cruise ships as self-contained mini floating cities,
powered by their own energy supply. Switching from 50 Watt bulbs to 7 Watt LED
technology increases energy efficiency by more than halving each ship’s
electricity consumption required for lighting.’’
LED Engin's LuxiGen Emitters now Available Through Digi-Key
LIGHTimes News Staff
February 26, 2015...LED Engin, a San Jose-based producer of high flux density LED emitters and
secondary lenses, reported that it has signed a distribution agreement with
Digi-Key, a seller of electronic components. LED Engin's LuxiGen emitters and
secondary optics will be available through Digi-Key's global websites.
The company asserts that the high-power LuxiGen emitters offer high efficacy
and flux along with superior color stability and lumen performance. The
emitters have what the company says are ultra-efficient and uniform optics.
According to LED Engin, LuxiGen's patented ceramic package enables the lowest
thermal resistance per package area. Additionally, the emitters have an
extremely wide range of power inputs from 3 W to 90 W and a wide selection of
colors from UV 365 nm to infrared 940 nm. LuxiGen multi-chip packages are also
available in multi-color/wavelength options including RGBW, RGBA, UV, and
Dental Blue. Each die is individually addressable. The company also offers a
suite of complementary total internal reflection (TIR) lenses for the emitters
in Narrow Spot to Wide Flood beam.
President and CEO of LED Engin, David Tahmassebi, said, "Through this
agreement, hundreds of thousands of design engineers and purchasers around the
world now have access to LED Engin products. Digi-Key is a customer-focused
company that ranks highly in industry surveys for its product availability,
rapid order fulfillment and responsive service. This means faster access to
our class-leading emitters and optics."
Digi-Key is said to be one of the world's largest and fastest-growing
distributors of electronic components. Digi-Key stocks more than one million
parts from 650 different suppliers and ships about 15,000 orders per day with a
99 percent same-day shipment rate.
Ira Suko, director of semiconductor product at Digi-Key, said, "LED
Engin has created very high-quality LEDs in minuscule packages thanks to the
company's extensive technical expertise in thermal management and other
award-winning techniques. Our customers now have access to the most advanced
LED packaging technology, emitters and light source modules available in the
Trinseo Showcases Plastic Optical Materials
LIGHTimes News Staff
February 26, 2015...Trinseo, the Berwyn, Pennsylvania-based materials company formerly known as
Styron showcased its plastics for the LED Lighting industry at Strategies in
Light at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada from
February 24 – 26, 2015. The company says it changed its name on February
1st to "reflect how its technologies and materials play an intrinsic role in
the innovative and sustainable solutions that customers require for their next
Trinseo has supported the lighting industry for almost a decade with
polycarbonate-based compounds under the CALIBRE™ Polycarbonate Resins and
EMERGE™ Advanced Resins and brands. These materials includes transparent,
light diffusion, reflective, and ignition resistant grades for diffusers,
optics, lenses, reflectors, and housings.
Trinseo also formally introduced its EMERGE™ PC 8830LT Advanced
Resins, a material that the company says balances thickness, transparency, and
flame retardancy– three key properties that thinner gauge applications require. The material is UL94 rated
V-0 at 1.0mm and 5VA at 2.5mm.
Trinseo boasts technical and manufacturing resources around the world that
enable it to coordinate application development, product availability and
technical support. The company's global reach is especially critical in the LED
lighting industry in which applications are often specified in one region and
manufactured in another. The Trinseo team from North America was joined at
Strategies in Light by colleagues from Asia Pacific.
Iowa Cubs to get Daktronics Display at Their Home Field
LIGHTimes News Staff
February 26, 2015...The Iowa Cubs, a triple-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, has selected
Daktronics to design, manufacture and install a new LED video display for
Principal Park in Des Moines, Iowa. The new display will have 15HD pixel
layout. In addition to clear, crisp imagery and deep contrast, the display
features wide-angle visibility so every seat can see the best picture. The
display, which incorporates robust environmental protection for outdoor use,
will measure about 24 feet high by 62.5 feet wide.
"Our new state-of-the-art Daktronics video board will be able to do
everything but a backward somersault, pike position," said Iowa Cubs
principal owner Michael Gartner. "It will provide more information and more
excitement for our fans. They're going to love it."
The displays employ variable content zoning, which allows for one large
image or multiple zones to show any combination of live video, instant replays,
statistics, scoring information, animations, graphics, and sponsor messages.
"We're proud to be involved with this significant upgrade for Iowa Cubs
baseball at Principal Park," said Matt Warnke, Daktronics sales
representative. "The confidence the Iowa Cubs have shown by selecting
Daktronics says a lot about our industry-proven, high-quality product. We're
excited to be a part of this and we are looking forward to the first game
showcasing the new display."
Daktronics will also include its Show Control System with this
installation. This system grants a combination of display control software,
video processing, data integration and playback hardware for user-friendly
Agricultural Lighting Company Once Innovations Begins Licensing Patents
LIGHTimes News Staff
February 24, 2015...ONCE Innovations (ONCE), an agricultural and horticultural lighting company,
has begun licensing its technology after the company recently filed its 100th
patent application. The company currently has 26 issued patents worldwide
including patents related to agriculture, horticulture, and lighting.
The licensing program is not for just the patents related to agriculture and
horticulture, but also those related to lighting.
ONCE CEO Zdenko Grajcar said, “We are not just another LED
company. We are in the agricultural lighting business with a mission to help
growers produce more food at lower costs. Our core focus in on the research in
areas of animal and plant photobiology and related optogenetics. We feel
leveraging our research findings in specialized, biologically adjusted lighting
has huge potential in agricultural markets.”
The company has hired law firm, Vincent and Elkins (V&E) LLC, to be
their legal counsel related to licensing of Once Innovation's patents.
“ONCE technology is designed from the ground up, based on
fundamentally new understandings of what connects living organisms to light.
Our patent program is based on the investment of significant capital into
research and development. Filing our 100th active patent application is an
important accomplishment reflecting the company's ongoing attention to
innovation and a candid testament to the outstanding achievements of our
R&D team,” commented Joe Hoffman, ONCE General Counsel.
Mr. Grajcar noted that several companies have approached ONCE in recent
months inquiring about licensing the company's proprietary line voltage LED (AC
LED) and color shift technology outside of agriculture markets.
Our news features are reported
by the LIGHTimes staff writers.
For submissions or content suggestions, you can contact us using
editor -at - sslighting.net
For more information and to reserve promotion space contact
Info8 -at - sslighting.net
or call +1 (512) 257-9888