Report: Samsung accuses LG of OLED leak

Report: Samsung accuses LG of OLED leak

Summary: Samsung says details of its organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology disclosed to LG Display execs and leak will cost "trillions of won", according to report.

TOPICS: Hardware

Samsung Mobile Display says the leak of its organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen technology was allegedly planned at the corporate level of LG Display, following the arrest of 11 people involved.

In a Yonhap News Agency report Monday, an unnamed Samsung executive said the company leads the world's OLED screen market with 97 percent share. However, the technology leak will cause Samsung to lose "trillions of won", the official said.

"Executives of LG Display, which lacks OLED technology and related human resources, took the lead in this criminal act in order to overcome their shortcomings as quickly as possible," the source said, adding that LG should take responsibility for the incident.

However, LG Display denied the accusations. "LG Display's products boast excellent technology and even received a presidential award with the OLED panel for 55-inch screens," the company told the news agency.

"We do not need Samsung's technology, which works under a totally different display system," it added.

On Sunday, 11 people were charged for leaking or taking key OLED technology from Samsung, according to a separate Yonhap report. Among the suspects, six were former or current researchers at Samsung while the other five were executives and a sub-contractor from LG Display, it revealed.

Both Samsung and LG have been victims of corporate espionage. Last month, Seoul's district prosecutors arrested three workers from an Israeli equipment inspection firm for allegedly stealing and leaking information on the Korean companym' yet-released 55-inch AMOLED TV panels to Chinese rivals.


Topic: Hardware

Liau Yun Qing

About Liau Yun Qing

The only journalist in the team without a Western name, Yun Qing hails from the mountainy Malaysian state, Sabah. She currently covers the hardware and networking beats, as well as everything else that falls into her lap, at ZDNet Asia. Her RSS feed includes tech news sites and most of the Cheezburger network. She is also a cheapskate masquerading as a group-buying addict.

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  • Technology may be different on some level, but ...

    ... both Samsung and LG use Texas Instruments equipment to produce big OLED screens. This is how both companies simultaneously annonunced 55" OLED TVs.
    • Ummm....

      While both companies may use TI's equipment I'm SURE there's a lot more that goes into OLED development. Both companies are known to have huge treasure chests of patents related to OLED display manufacturing.

      Otherwise, your point's pretty irrelevant, no offense.
      • The point is relevant, considering that none of those manufacturers make ..

        ... equipment for their own factories. So the level of IP there is relatively limited, comparing to what TI has in OLED technology.

        It is similar to semiconductors sector. Why Intel loves to brag about their 22 nm process, they little to do with this wonder. ASML Holding invents it. Intel's great achievement is huge prepay money they send to this company and reserving future equipment for itself. Thus only few companies got 22 nm equipment. TSCM, for example, failed at that, so they can not offer finer produced chips (they can only do 28 nm process).
        • Point

          Giving all that credit to TI for OLED development is the equivalent of giving all the credit to McDonalds' 3rd party shipping companies, i.e. Fedex and UPS, for the safe delivery of the buns and ground beef. To say otherwise is to require a wide leap in logic, which is basically what you're doing.

          I'm not necessarily discounting the extent of TI's intellectual property. But in the last five years since I started following OLED development among the Korean and Japanese companies, TI's role has been rather minuscule. LG for one owes a large portion of its OLED prowess to the technology transfers gained through its dealings with Kodak. Considering LG's teeny tiny manufacturing capacity in displays in general, this is certainly a turn, but it's not really all that much owed to TI as much as you'd think. They license many aspects of the manufacturing processes from other companies in addition to TI. Samsung poured billions into R&D and has its own OLED display lines in Korea.

          Those two companies have received significant support and encouragement from the Korean government ever since initiatives to pioneer the tech first emerged. Quite frankly, I have to say the American's involvement in OLED development is that of the consumer.
          • Not "all"

            Never said about "all" credit, you are leapfrogging to place that does not exist. However, relative weight in IP is what counts.

            Samsung's and LG's huge spendings on R&D mostly go on incredibly pricey equipment, produced by the likes of Texas Instruments, Hitachi Display, and other manufacturers of actual equipment. Of course you do not hear about those companies much -- since they do produce matrices, there is nothing flashy to announce or demonstrate.

            It again the same thing as with semiconductor sector. Intel spends crazy billions on R&D, and those money go to ASML Holdings, and no one really knows this company because they do not produce crystals/chips, they have nothing flashy to announce.