‘We’re no trolls’: Philips defends its patent policy

Philips has mounted a robust defence of its controversial patent and licensing policy in the lighting industry.

Speaking on the issue in public for the first time, the company’s IP chief said Philips wanted to share its technology to grow the LED lighting market and wasn’t in the business of ‘going around trolling with invalid patents’.

Responding to criticism that the company was bullying luminaire makers, Arian Duijvestijn told the International Fixture Design conference in London that Philips wanted to treat all companies in the same way and that its contentious use of non-disclosure agreements was to protect smaller firms, not Philips.

‘The first letter [to firms suspected of infringing Philips IP] is a very friendly letter,’ he told the London audience of luminaire manufacturers. ‘We want an NDA to protect you. We think that an NDA is important. This is to protect the [potential] licensee. Then we can have an open discussion.

‘We can’t work with companies without an NDA. Then we can have confidential discussions about products and sales.’

Philips has led the way in developing and acquiring technology, Duijvestijn argued, and sharing it through a licensing programme is good for the market.

‘We have not recovered our investment [in acquiring firms with significant IP]. We spend €0.5 billion every year on R&D; we funded Zigbee for 14 years.

Read the full article at Lux.

11 Jun