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Article updated: 1/31/2013 10:03 AM

Robertson Worldwide adds Hong Kong firm to patent lawsuit


Lighting ballast manufacturer Robertson Worldwide, based in Blue Island, has filed patent infringement claims against a Hong Kong-based company as part of an ongoing lawsuit over electronic ballast technology used to operate fluorescent lighting.

Robertson originally filed suit last October in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleging patent infringement by competitors General Electric, Etlin-Daniels, Halco Lighting Technologies, Hatch Transformers, Howard Industries and Keystone Technologies. Today's action adds Super X Manufacturing a/k/a Lighting Products Limited as a defendant to the lawsuit, the company said in a release. Super X manufactures ballasts in China and supplies electronic ballasts to the other defendants.

The lawsuit includes claims that the electronic ballasts manufactured and used by the defendants in a wide range of fluorescent lighting infringe on patents issued to Robertson inventors and owned by Robertson.

The two patents relate to the functionality of various protective circuits that provide essential features for the safe operation of fluorescent lamps, including when such lights approach their end-of-life phase. Robertson is requesting monetary damages, as well as an order permanently enjoining the defendants from continuing the alleged infringement.

"We have a responsibility to our partners, customers, and stakeholders to safeguard the investment Robertson makes each year in the U.S. by developing significant technology for energy efficient and safe lighting," says Sandy Bryant, President of Robertson Worldwide. "Without the legal protection of the patent laws, Robertson and other companies have little incentive to invest in new technologies that will create good-paying jobs in the U.S."

Robertson is represented by the Dallas-based law firm Skiermont Puckett LLP. The lawsuit is Robertson Transformer Co. d/b/a Robertson Worldwide v. GE Lighting, LLC et al., No. 1:12-cv-08094 (N.D. Ill.).

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