For a long time, Nichia, Osram Opto., Cree, Toyota Gosei and Lumileds have jointly shaped an enormous and powerful patent shield with cross-license agreements within the world LED industry and the five lighting goliaths have been charging, more or less, whoever tried to sell LED products abroad. However, as those patents are about to expire, Taiwan- and Korea-based Companies rise with their new patents and the expansion of Chinese businesses is posing threats, the industry is slowly transitioning away from the old oligopoly.
Despite all above saying the patent shield might weaken and a new dynamic will be formed to replace the old oligopoly in the patent market, it doesn't necessarily mean the lighting goliaths are losing their edges. Instead, the change might ignite the fire of a new patent war where there's no companies standing as 'ultra big and powerful' but numerous firms with their own patents. By that time, they will be competitive at similar levels. The competition in the market is expected to continue in a different form and the applications sector might as well keep alert to it.