Sharp Sues Samsung Over LCD Patents - InformationWeek

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Sharp Sues Samsung Over LCD Patents

The lawsuit is an example of how fierce competition is forcing Asian technology companies to focus on intellectual property to maintain an edge.

Sharp on Wednesday sued Samsung Electronics, accusing the Korean company of infringing on three Sharp patents related to liquid crystal displays used in high definition TVs.

The Japanese company filed the complaint in the Seoul Central District Court in South Korea. The suit claims the patents cover technology used in LCDs and LCD TVs manufactured and sold by Samsung. Sharp is asking the court to award it compensatory damages, and to prohibit Samsung from manufacturing and selling the infringing products in South Korea.

Sharp claims in a statement that Samsung used without authorization "technologies that achieve high brightness and high-speed response, as well as a wide viewing angle, by regulating and stabilizing the alignment of the LCD modules." Korean patents covering the technologies are numbered 371,939, 740,570, and 776,988.

The latest complaint isn't the first filed by Sharp against its rival over LCD technologies. The company filed in August a similar patent-infringement suit against Samsung and its U.S. subsidiaries Samsung Electronics America and Samsung Telecommunications America. The suit, filed in the United States, is pending.

Sharp is the third-largest LCD TV maker behind Samsung and Sony. The most recent lawsuit is the latest example of how fierce competition is forcing Asian technology companies to focus on intellectual property to maintain an edge, Reuters news agency reported.

The LCD TV battleground is growing. Sales trends indicate the high-definition sets are the future champions of the worldwide television market, gradually pushing other technologies to the sidelines, according to iSuppli. While CRT TVs are still the market leaders today, their dominance is expected to slip due to declining prices for large-screen LCD TVs, which also surpass other flat-screen technologies in sales. Those include plasma screens.

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