Sharp Sues Samsung over LCD Technology
It’s more bad blood over the Sea of Japan: Japan’s Sharp Corporation just filed a lawsuit against South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. in Seoul, South Korea. It’s yet another patent infringement lawsuit between Asian technology firms.
Sharp alleges that Samsung has infringed on at least three LCD technology patents. The technologies Sharp alleges Samsung is copying are enhancements to LCD that help it achieve greater brightness, faster response times and better viewing angles by “…regulating and stabilizing the alignment of the LCD molecules."
Pop – that was the sound of my mind blowing.
Sharp is the third largest manufacturer of LCD panels behind Samsung and Sony respectively. The suit has nothing to do with products from S-LCD, the joint LCD manufacturing venture between Samsung and Sony.
Competition in this sector is fierce as manufacturing prices fall, the flat panel HDTV market becomes increasingly competitive.
According to a market research firm NPD Group, sales of large (37” and above) flat panel HDTVs have grown 184% this year. But the sales bonanza for flat panel HDTVs has turned the business into a bitter war. There has been a series of patent infringement suits being filed by the Asian tech sector lately as they try to establish boundaries and consolidate their intellectual property.
Sharp is seeking compensation and for Samsung to cease manufacturing infringing HDTVs. Considering that some of the recent lawsuits between Asian tech firms have resulted in counter-suits being filed – this could get nasty!
Samsung with LED-based LCDs are stepping on the toes of plasma sales all over the place. Keep in mind that Pioneer and Sharp are in (or done with) merger talks. Pioneer is telling Sharp no doubt to pressure Samsung with (if nothing else) distractions.
How one can patent physics is beyond me, but apparently Sharp thinks it can.