The controversy is about incandescent LED light bulbs, sometimes called "Edison" or "vintage" LED bulbs because they resemble Edison's iconic glass bulbs with incandescent filaments. Like other LEDs, they use 90 percent less energy than typical incandescent lamps and last for years. The filament LED technology, invented at UC Santa Barbara, has become so popular that the five retailers sell bulbs in mass quantities.
According to UC Santa Barbara, it tried to warn dealers about their infringement and establish licenses with them, but the university's efforts "have not been sufficient to address the ubiquitous and explosive violation in this industry." The university is now seeking unknown damages and license agreements with each retailer. It has also requested that the US International Trade Commission (ITC) launch an investigation into unauthorized imports of these "Edison" LEDs and potentially issue and terminate orders to prevent retailers from selling the LEDs without permission.
Sales of these LEDs are expected to increase one billion dollars by 201