Apple Has Been Sued For LED Lighting Used In iPad 3 & MacBook Pro


Texas based LED Tech Development has filed a formal complaint with a court in Delaware against Apple for infringement of four of it patents, reports Patently Apple. The filing states that Apple’s iPad 3 and MacBook Pro infringe upon four of LED Tech’s patents that the company describes as being “patents by assignment.”

The reports notes that Charles Lemaire, one of the original inventors of all four patents in this lawsuit, has also been credited with patents for Nuance Communications amongst others. The patents involved in the case include 6,095,661, 7,393,119, 6,808,287 and 6,488,390.

According to LED Tech, Apple’s iPad 3 and MacBook Pro use pulse-width modulation signals to drive light-emitting diodes, a process that shows that the infringement of patents has been wilful.

In each of the four patents under “Field of the Invention” we read the following:

“This invention relates to the field of lighting, and more specifically to a method and apparatus of controlling and powering a solid-state light source such as a light-emitting diode or LED, for a portable battery-powered flashlight.

I don’t think that the iPad or MacBook could be found at Home Depot’s flashlight department, even though LED Tech is suing Home Depot for selling flashlights based on two of the very patents being used against Apple.

Yet there is one of the four patents that present a powerful claim […] Whether that’s enough to win this case against Apple is unknown at this time.

The case was filed in the United States Delaware District. No judge has been assigned to this case as of yet.


  • Yeah, they kind of deserve it, methinks. I’m surprised Apple didn’t see this coming as a result of the Samsung battle. There must be hundreds of patents that Apple is unknowingly infringing upon in their devices.

  • Cant wait for samsung to be banned. And oh since apple is going to banned from this samsung should too since they use led in their phones oh and htc oh and motorola and google please

  • Biggy604

    They’ll only attack the most “trendy brand” which in this case is Apple.

  • What go’s around comes around.HaHa

  • I think you clicked on the wrong link. This is iphoneincanada, not androidincanada. I stay out of your pool so stop pissing in ours thanks.

  • Whaaaa

    PWM has a patent? That’s a pretty fundamental way of controlling things I mean it’s taught in every electronics program in like 1st/2nd year.

  • Actually, I’m a hardcore Apple user. Owned Apple products all my life and have never used an Android phone before. That doesn’t mean I fully agree with Apple suing Samsung though. I agree on a few aspects of it, but some of what they sued for sounded like a stretch; although I’ll agree I didn’t look into that many details of the suit.

    My point is just that Apple is influenced by other products as well, how can you not be when designing something? Just like it was impossible for Samsung to design a new phone without thinking about the iPhone. So if Apple’s goiing to dish it out, they’d best be willing to take it as well. And their “win” against Samsung will open up the floodgates for companies that may have thought they wouldn’t have previously gotten away with suing for stuff like that.

    Just because I use and love Apple products doesn’t mean I have to agree with EVERYTHING they do, does it?

  • Apple_Sauce

    Personally I think Apple deserves a little pathetic patent suit payback after the joke of a suit against Samsung with a rectangle as a shape. Lame…

    However patenting PWM to control an LED is lame as well, not as lame as patenting a rectangular shape for a phone, but getting there. but Apple started the lame patent legal war.

  • While I agree with you that Apple deserves some patent suit payback, I think boiling the Samsung suit down to “patenting a rectangular shape for a phone” is wildly inaccurate.