ITC launches investigation requested by Cree

The International Trade Commission has agreed to investigate LED lighting company Cree’s claim that a major competitor and its supplier are infringing on Cree patents.

Durham-based Cree announced Thursday that the ITC, which rules on complaints about imports that allegedly infringe on patents or make false claims, has decided to launch an investigation into Feit Electric and its Taiwanese supplier, Unity Opto Technology.

Cree filed a complaint Jan. 12 requesting an investigation by the ITC. Cree also filed a lawsuit in federal court against Feit and Unity the same day.

In its lawsuit and its ITC complaint, Cree contends that Feit’s bulbs infringe 10 Cree patents and that the company is misleading consumers by touting that certain of its bulbs meet federal Energy Star standards.

Cree is seeking monetary damages and an order that would halt the importation of the LED bulbs cited in its complaints.