Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ: OLED), enabling energy-efficient displays and lighting with its UniversalPHOLED® technology and materials, today announced that the European Patent Office (EPO) issued a decision on the Company’s European Patent No. 1933395 (the EP '395 patent). After considering legal and technical arguments from Sumitomo Chemical Company, Merck Patent GmbH and BASF SE in support of their request for a complete invalidation of the claims, the EPO panel issued a decision that affirms the basic inventions and broad patent coverage in the ‘395 patent, but narrows the scope of the original claims.
“We are pleased that the EPO panel recognized the novelty in the invention of EP ‘395 and confirmed our rights to broad claim coverage in this class of molecules through 2020,” said Steven V. Abramson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Display Corporation.
Universal Display likely will appeal the ruling to reinstate a broader set of claims. This patent, as originally granted by the EPO, would be deemed valid during the pendency of an appeals process. Ultimately though, the Company does not expect the final outcome of any one patent in any one jurisdiction to have a material impact on the Company’s commercial business.
EP ‘395 is one of more than sixty patents issued worldwide that cover four early fundamental phosphorescent OLED inventions developed at Princeton University and the University of Southern California, which are exclusively licensed to Universal Display Corporation. Universal Display’s L2MX composition patents are directed to an important group of metal complexes utilized as a component of OLED emissive materials. They have been issued in major jurisdictions around the world and are not set to expire until late 2020.Universal Display is committed to increasing the value of and defending its intellectual property portfolio by building upon and around its core fundamental phosphorescent patents far beyond 2020. The Company has a growing portfolio of over 3,000 issued and pending OLED device, architecture and material patents worldwide. This extensive IP framework is designed not only to fortify Universal Display’s licensing and materials business model for years to come, but to help ensure that the trajectory of the Company’s future will not be defined by any one patent or decision, favorable or unfavorable.