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Unity Opto shares hit hard by Cree lawsuits

Unity Opto shares hit hard by Cree lawsuits

Taipei, Jan. 14 (CNA) Shares of Unity Opto Technology Co., one of Taiwan's leading light-emitting diode (LED) lighting suppliers, were hard hit Wednesday by lawsuits alleging patent infringement filed by U.S.-based counterpart Cree Inc. The heavy selling showed that investors feared the lawsuits will affect Unity Opto sales in the North American market, they said. Shares of Unity Opto lost 3.08 percent to close at NT$29.85 (US$0.93), with 10.54 million shares changing hands. The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange was down 0.55 percent at 9,182.23. Unity Opto shares faced heavy downward pressure soon after Taiwan's stock market opened in the wake of Cree's accusations of patent infringements, dealers said. Cree said it has filed complaints with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin against U.S.-based Feit Electric Co. and its Taiwanese supplier Unity Opto Technology Co. The lawsuits are aimed at curbing infringement of 10 of Cree's patented technologies, the company said. Cree said that Feit and Unity Opto have been infringing on its patents and misleading consumers through their advertising to gain an unfair advantage in the market.
It has therefore asked the ITC to issue a cease and desist order that requires Feit and Unity Opto to cease selling, infringing and falsely advertising LED bulbs in the U.S., Cree said.
Unity Opto responded that it has not received any court documents related to the Cree allegations but has asked its lawyers to get a better understanding of the lawsuits. The Taiwanese firm said it respects the intellectual property rights of other companies and has never done anything to infringe on others' IP assets, and added that it has faith in its LED lighting technology and believes that its products sold overseas meet international standards. Unity Opto contended that the lawsuits reflected the rising competition Cree has encountered in the North American market and an attempt by Cree to use legal maneuvers to curtail its rivals' sales. The company said its sales in the North American market remain normal, and it did not expect its shipments there to be affected in the short term. (By Han Ting-ting and Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-09-17 04:55 GMT+08:00