Nixon Peabody expands groundbreaking patent enforcement campaign for UC Santa Barbara

New ITC investigation targets leading retailers and suppliers of filament LED lighting products

August 31, 2020

Senior Manager, Media Relations
Nicholas Braude

Los Angeles, CA. Nixon Peabody announced today a major expansion of its groundbreaking patent enforcement campaign on behalf of the Regents of the University of California (UC) with new litigation against six leading retailers and suppliers of filament LED lighting products.

Building on a successful first phase of the campaign, which was launched in 2019, Nixon Peabody filed a new complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) seeking an investigation into the unauthorized importation and sale after importation of UC’s patented filament LED lighting technology by General Electric, Savant Systems, Feit Electric, Home Depot, Ikea, and Satco Products.

The campaign centers on a new generation of light bulb technology known as filament LED, which replaces traditional incandescent light bulbs while using about 90% less energy and lasting many years longer. Light bulbs made with UC’s patented filament LED technology are often referred to as “Edison” or “vintage” LED light bulbs because they resemble Thomas Edison’s iconic light bulbs with glowing filaments visible inside glass bulbs, but they also include light bulbs with frosted glass. Filament LED lighting products are increasingly popular, with a wide range of bulbs, fixtures, and other products that incorporate UC’s patented technology being available through retailers and suppliers, and appearing in a growing number of homes and businesses around the world.

The goal of the campaign is to license UC’s patents covering the reinvention of the light bulb at UC Santa Barbara and to protect UC’s licensees from unlicensed competition. Revenues from licensing help UC support more of the educational opportunities and academic research that produce important innovations like filament LEDs. In the year since the campaign was launched, more than a dozen retailers and suppliers have licensed UC’s patented technology and are now authorized to import and sell filament LED lighting products.

“We are encouraged by the successes achieved during the first year of this campaign. The new litigation is an important next step in addressing what is becoming ubiquitous infringement, so that UC is rightfully compensated for the exploitation of its inventions and the important benefits they provide to society,” said Seth Levy, a Los Angeles-based partner at Nixon Peabody. “UC remains committed to standing up for university patent owners and leading the conversation with industry partners about fair compensation for the use of university patents.”

The Nixon Peabody team is led by partners Seth Levy and Shawn Hansen, and includes partners Evan LangdonStaci RiordanVincent Yip, and Peter Wied; associates Vince Capati, Paulina Starostka, Angelo Christopher, and Tracy Ickes; and patent specialist Jason Moore.

More information on UC’s patent enforcement campaign, including opportunities for businesses to obtain authorization from UC to sell filament LED lighting products, is available at

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