Liown Electronics Claims Invention Stolen by Luminara

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Liown Electronics, China’s largest supplier of electronic candles and LED lighting products, in cooperation with Boston Warehouse Trading Corp., has filed a claim in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota to invalidate U.S. Patents owned by Disney Enterprises, Inc. of Burbank, Calif.

Liown Electronics Co., Ltd., in cooperation with Boston Warehouse Trading Corp., filed a claim on Dec. 26, 2012 in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, case number 12-cv-02803(PJS/JJK), to invalidate U.S. Patents owned by Disney Enterprises, Inc. of Burbank, Calif.

According to court documents, the Disney patents in question are claimed to be currently licensed to Candella, LLC and sold under the name Dreamcandles by Luminara Worldwide, LLC and through their distributors, GKI/Bethlehem Lights and Enesco.

In early 2010, Luminara/Candella signed an exclusive manufacturing agreement with Liown, China’s largest supplier and manufacturer of electronic candles and LED lighting products. As stated in the court documents, Liown designed, engineered, and developed technology for Luminara/Candella and developed certain flameless candle designs, including a single stage and single pendulum candle design, which they disclosed to Candella.

Additionally as stated in court documents, Luminara/Candella improperly claimed to have patent rights to Liown’s designs; however, patents directed to those designs improperly fail to list Liown’s Li Xiao Feng as the inventor. Court documents further state that Candella used Luminara’s manufacturing capabilities in China and breached the agreement, in essence stealing Liown’s technology.

Luminara is owned by O’Shaughnessy Holdings, which also owns Element Electronics and whose primary shareholder is Michael O’Shaughnessy, a former Petters Group Worldwide executive.

Liown is also pursuing legal actions against Candella, Luminara, their distributors and key customers in China and has received acceptance and approval of a Chinese customs protection filing by the General Administration of Customs for China Central Government (record no: P2012-26572) for the customs filing number ZL201030210165. Liown holds Chinese invention Patent no. 201010211402.8, which predates any enabling disclosure of the single stage, single pendulum in the United States. Liown is actively pursuing all alleged infringers, whether they are manufacturers or U.S. retailers intent on exporting the product.

About Liown Electronics
Liown Electronics is China’s largest supplier of electronic candles and LED lighting products and is the exclusive manufacturer of Energizer household lighting products. Based in Shenzhen, Liown and founder Li Xiao Feng (Mike Li) hold over 250 patents. In 2010, the company was awarded the prestigious “Innovator of the Year” award by the Chinese Central Government. In addition to design, manufacturing, sourcing and logistics, Liown collaborates with international distributors, marketers and product developers to achieve vital time-to-market solutions. Visit: http://www.liown.com

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Devan V. Padmanabhan
Winthrop & Weinstine
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