Samsung factories raided on LG's OLED theft claims

Samsung factories raided on LG's OLED theft claims

Summary: Both sides relock in their dispute, despite agreeing to resolve patent issues behind closed doors in February.

TOPICS: Patents, Legal, Samsung, Korea
Samsung and LG resume their patent dispute despite agreeing to come to a compromise behind closed doors two months ago.

Samsung and LG have both relocked in their OLED patent dispute, despite having agreed to resolve their differences two months ago.

On Tuesday, police raided four factories belonging to Samsung Display to secure evidence for LG's theft claims, The Korea Times reported. This follows LG Display's claims that some of its White OLED (W-OLED) technologies were stolen by Samsung and asked police to look into what it calls a corporate espionage case. 

Samsung however, dismissed LG's claims as groundless, saying it had no reason to steal LG's technologies because it already controls the global demand for OLED displays.

Samsung Display CEO Kim Ki-nam denied the allegations. "You should remember that Samsung is the only firm that manufactures and sells OLED panels. We have no reason to steal other companies' technologies. Samsung is always worrying about the possible leakage of our patented technologies," Kim said.

Samsung also accused LG of similar theft but has not asked police to investigate.

LG on the other hand, said in a statement, "We believe police will find evidence that can probe Samsung's misconduct. Samsung stole some of our high-end technologies. That's a pity for Samsung. Samsung brazenly accused us of stealing its OLED technologies. That is hard to understand."

Gary Sohn, public relations chief at LG Display, added the firm will fully cooperate with the police.

This is the latest amid a backdrop of corporate espionage and legal tussles between both South Korean companies. In July last year, 11 Samsung employees were arrested by local prosecutors on grounds they stole and leaked confidential information about OLED technologies to LG.

LG had launched a suit against Samsung  claiming violation of seven OLED patents in September, while Samsung attempted to nullify the patents citing lack of innovation. In February 2013, both firms agreed to resolve the issues behind closed doors without the need for court and lawyers

Topics: Patents, Legal, Samsung, Korea

Ellyne Phneah

About Ellyne Phneah

Elly grew up on the adrenaline of crime fiction and it spurred her interest in cybercrime, privacy and the terror on the dark side of IT. At ZDNet Asia, she has made it her mission to warn readers of upcoming security threats, while also covering other tech issues.

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  • When will the world learn that Samsung is just a thief in the night.

    I, for one, am glad that Apple had the guts to stand up to Samsung and cut ties with them. Maybe LG will do the same and fight Sammy.
    • Wait a sec...Isn't Samsung

      Toddbottom's new favourite company? That's perfect! LOL!
    • Apple is irrelevant

      Kindly stop mentioning Apple against Samsung and LG. It's their fight and Apple shouldn't be involved.

      What's worse than Samsung is Apple fanboys trying to defend a ridiculous case.
      • Please see my comment to MarknWill below.

        It applies to you as well.
  • Whoa!

    This is the real Korean War Here!
  • popcorns

    Anyone??? It's good to know that the Samsung fanboys are coming to terms with the fact that the horse they bet money on is on illegal steroids from head to tail.. Highly profitable in short term perspective, not so glorious in the long term.. It's high time we realized there are other wonderful devices aside from samsung's offerings.. Take htc one or Optimus g pro or nexus or the rumored X phone for example.. The list goes on....
  • Let's wait for the evidence

    Before making assumptions, this was just a raid because LG think they might find proof of corporate espionage. If any other company but Samsung was involved, this would not even have made an article :) Companies are scared of the Samsung dominance and are doing everything in their power to try and break it.

    Question is though, if NO evidence is found, will Samsung sue LG?
    • You are NOT a Korean,

      yet I am. So give an ear to me.

      Korea is not as clean as US is. I know that the Americans don't think the western world is clean, and they are very much right, but Asia is much more chaotic.

      Department of Justice is heavily influenced by big companies like Samsung, and it cannot make an action against unless it thinks it has very fundamental suspicions.

      Besides, Samsung is very well known even among Korean companies for these kinds of things - stealing from other smaller companies, entering into every possible market to kill all smaller competitors and occupy the market, and denying any responsibility whatsoever relating to health conditions of its former factory workers.

      As long as they can win the reputation that they are the largest and the best in the market, Samsung doesn't care how.

      I know Americans would say again that every company is so, but have you ever seen Microsoft or Apple in clothing, food, mart, automobile businesses? Samsung is everywhere. Everywhere in this country.

      Samsung has copied off Apple, Sony, LG and countless companies before. The only difference is that this time, LG doesn't want to take shit any more.
      Jae K Oh
      • If you want to see Samsung's xerox machine, just look at ...

        ... at Samsung's new line of washer and driers. They are a complete clone of LG's models, but mostly made out of plastic and without the long term warranty.

        They cloned everything, even LG's "exclusive" features (the kind you don't see in any other brand)
  • Alternatives are Great

    Although I love Samsung products, I am glad that Android provides tough competition. It makes all Android products better. Apple on the other hand has been able to be complacent without too much harm. They have ruined Itunes and IOS seems dated to me, but since alternatives to their system are non-existent, they can keep their fans. As one said in a post of an earlier article: "Anything Apple does impresses me." With fans like that, you don't need to take risks.
    • I'd like to propose "ZDNet's Law"

      This is an adaptation of Goodwin's Law. It states that as the comment section of a ZDNet article grows, the probability of someone mentioning Apple grows to 1.

      You are the winner of today's ZDNet Law Award.

      This is about Samsung and LG. It is better for you if Samsung get taken down a peg, as with 90% Android market share, there's not a lot of Android competition. To adress your ZDNet law violatuon; Most competition is happening between Samsung and Apple right now. Samsung actually have a lot more users than Apple. This would suggest that there are alternatives. Thus your comment is out of place and incorrect.

      Today's topic was Lg, Samsung and potential industrial espionage. Thanks for playing.
      • Obviously, you have something against that "Fruit Company"

        So I won't mention that icon of innovation in your presence - so as to not run afoul of your new and biased ZDNet Law.

        But the topic was about two companies which were involved in an alleged example of industrial espionage and intellectual property theft. And, as such, the mention of another company that might have a similar complaint or history against one of those two companies mentioned in this article would be relevant, if placed in the proper perspective.
  • This began from Samsung.

    1. First, a few years ago Samsung advertised within Korea that their technology, AMOLED, would be far superior to LG's, which focused on OLED.

    2. Years later, everyone realized that LG's display technology was far superior to Samsung's as LG has always been. (Apple and Dell produces professional monitors with LG panels. What sells more in average consumer market only shows how aggressively Samsung markets.)

    3. Samsung copies off LG. LG decides to, as it always has, take shit.

    4. At the end of last year, Samsung made a commercial making fun of LG's refrigerator. By Korean government's measurement system, both refrigerators had the same storage capacity, but Samsung's could store a few more water bottles because the shape of internal structures were a little different. In the commercial, samsung made it as if LG's refrigerator didn't have the same storage capacity.

    5. LG this time decided not to take shit. LG makes a series of lawsuits. Samsung hasn't sued LG because - it cannot. It is the one that has always ripped off others.

    Now the government thinks LG's claims are very serious and just. Let justice be realized over Samsung this time.
    Jae K Oh
    • I sense bias here...

      I can't say LG is clean here as they desperately tried to mock the Samsung Galaxy S4 Unpacked event by displaying ads ridiculously similar to the S4 advertising.

      If proven that Samsung was at fault here, this won't be enough to stop buying their products.

      However, I sense that you have a personal grudge against Samsung based on your wording. If the ruling goes to Samsung's favor, I'd bet you will react violently and say that those prosecutors have been bribed.

      Whatever Samsung did to you must have been horrible, however, I'm not a Korean so I wouldn't know or care. As long as their products work to everyone's benefit, patents and lawsuits are irrelevant.