Samsung Display sues LG over LCD patents, again

The company accuses LG Display of copying its plane-to-line switching tech in seven of the latter's patents and is seeking US$1.87 million in damages and sales injunctions against its rivals' products.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

Samsung Display has filed another lawsuit against local rival LG Display for infringing its Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) patents.

According to The Korea Times Wednesday, Samsung said the suit was filed with the Seoul Central District Court to invalidate seven LG patents that allegedly copied its plane-to-line (PLS) switching technology without paying royalties. A court spokesperson also confirmed the lawsuit had been filed last week.

LG had modified the PLS switching technology by Samsung without permission, and named it "AH-IPS" technology for use in its small- and medium-sized LCD screens, Samsung wrote in its filing. It added the company had patented the PLS technology in November 1997 but LG "copied" it.

"We are seeking a complete sales ban for consumer products manufactured by LG Display and LG Electronics that used those patents," Samsung said. It is also seeking 2 billion won (US$1.87 million) in damages and a permanent injunction on the sale of LG's digital devices, including the Optimus G and Optimus Vu 2 smartphones.

"The fight is a matter of pride. Damage compensation is not a real issue. I think both of us seek to be recognized as a leader in the global display-making industry through the legal battle," an unnamed senior Samsung executive told the news agency.

When approached by The Korea Times, Sohn Young-june, head of LG Display, said: "We've heard that Samsung Display filed its latest lawsuit with the court. After reviewing legal papers, we will prepare a counter-attack."

This is the latest development amid a backdrop of corporate espionage and legal tussles between both Korean companies. In September, LG Display had filed a suit against Samsung, claiming violation of the seven organic light-emitting diode (OLED) patents in question and alleging Samsung copied the design of LG's OLED panels, driver circuitry and device designs.

Samsung then filed a lawsuit against LG Display last month, claiming the seven patents were invalid as these lacked innovation.

In July, 11 Samsung employees were also arrested by local prosecutors on grounds that they stole and leaked confidential information about OLED technologies to LG.

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